My Very Heart

Composed by Laura Farnell
Voicing: SSA
Instrumentation: piano and optional clarinet
Catalog number: AMP 0936
Price: $2.00


The text for “My Very Heart” is a combination of “A Love Song” by Theodosia Garrison and “Du Meine Seele, Du Mein Herz” by Friedrich Rückert.

Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866) was a German poet, and his well-known text has been set to music by many composers, including Robert Schumann in the art song, “Wiedmung.” Most of the chorus of “My Very Heart” is based on an English translation of this poem. This poem is typical of texts that were popular in the Romantic era where authors and composers sought to express intense feelings in their art. Look for the “extremes” of love contrasted in the entire English translation of the poem below (e.g., “sweet desire” vs. “pain” “heaven” vs. “grave”)

O THOU, my soul, my very heart,
My sweet desire and pain thou art,
Thou, still the world wherein I live,
The heaven that wings to me can give,
The grave wherein I buried deep
My sorrow in eternal sleep!
Thou art my rest, the peace that's given
Straight to my inmost heart from heaven;
Some worth I have, since loved by thee,
Thy gaze makes fair myself to me.
Uplifted, blessed, in thee I find
My better self, my truer mind!

Theodosia Garrison (1874–1944) was a little–known American poet. The two verses of “My Very Heart” are based on the two contrasting sections of her poem “A Love Song”. These words complement Rückert's poem beautifully as they contrast the peacefulness versus the exuberance of intense love.

My love it should be silent, being deep –
And being very peaceful should be still –
Still as the utmost depths of ocean keep –
Serenely silent as some mighty hill.

Yet is my love so great it needs must fill
With very joy the inmost heart of me,
The joy of dancing branches on the hill
The joy of leaping waves upon the sea.

Laura Farnell

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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