THE PARCÆ; OR, THREE DAINTY DESTINIES:
by Robert Herrick
THREE lovely sisters working were,
As they were closely set,
Of soft and dainty maidenhair
A curious armillet.
I, smiling, asked them what they did,
Fair destinies all three,
Who told me they had drawn a thread
Of life, and 'twas for me.
They show'd me then how fine 'twas spun,
And I replied thereto,—
"I care not now how soon 'tis done,
Or cut, if cut by you".
They range from smiling acceptance of one's social position in #1; to a woman's blasting of an unfaithful lover (#4) and his foolish and beautifully Romantic comeback (#5); to a lovely dialogue between Charon, the boatman of Hades, and a nightingale who is requesting passage (#3); to a bit of self-indulgent boasting (#6). The full set was premièred in Vienna in May of 2019, and as a teaser, clicking in the box will allow you to hear #2: "The Parcæ", but only a midi version. The Parcæ are the Fates, who are weaving a timeline for our protagonists, who find them lovely and not fearsome at all. The poem is there too. Notice the 3-part canon to suggest the 3 Fates themselves.
To obtain the full set, please send me an email (below) or visit the Canadian Music Centre. I ask only that if you decide to perform these songs, that you inform me so that I can keep my Performances page up-to-date (few ever do, but I keep asking :)
These are very expressive songs, in my style of dissonant tonality, and they will require good amateur singers at the least.