Song of Light, A

Composed by Laura Farnell
Voicing: SATB
Instrumentation: piano
Catalog number: AMP1039
Price: $2.10

Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 – August 7,1941) was an Indian writer who wrote the poetry on which the text of “A Song of Light!” is based. Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, due partly to his work on “Gitanjali”. “Gitanjali” (or “Song Offerings”) includes 103 English poems which Tagore himself translated from the poems he originally wrote in Bengali first published in 1910. Verse 57, which describes an exuberant, joyful light, is the primary basis for the text of “A Song of Light!”. The text also includes references to other “Gitanjali” verses, such as verse 3 which connects music and light.

“Gitanjali”, Verse 57:
Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure.
The heaven's river has drowned its banks, and the flood of joy is abroad.

“Gitanjali”, Verse 36:
I know not how thou singest, my master! I ever listen in silent amazement.
The light of thy music illumines the world. The life breath of thy music runs from sky to sky.
The holy stream of thy music breaks through all stony obstacles and rushes on.
My heart longs to join in thy song, but vainly struggles for a voice.
I would speak, but speech breaks not into song, and I cry out baffled.
Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master!

-   Laura Farnell

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