Thursday, September 1, 2016

Where Splendour Falls

The splendour falls on castle walls 
And snowy summits old in story:
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear,
And thinner, clearer, farther going!
O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

O love, they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on field hill or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Myself and an old friend were often found drinking, and inevitably, singing around Killarney town. One night, after many drinks were imbibed, I sang out some forgotten tune. My compadre was taken by the melody, the next day he proceeded to put it to the words of Tennyson's poem "Where Splendour Falls." On our next meeting, and many since, he sang this song "The Splendour Falls." He told me he got the melody from me, but it is unlike any melody I ever sang... I've been singing it myself ever since!

The poem was written while Tennyson was on a visit to Killarney, Ireland. I think it forms part of an opera called "The Princess." I heard an absolutely beautiful choral version of the song one time, it was, needless to say, a very different beast to my own version.

You can buy a digital download of my album "Where Splendour Falls" here.


Unknown said...

I always loved that poem one of my favorite all time poems well done to it

Charlie O' Brien said...

Thanks Séan, its a beautiful one no doubt!