The Window; Or, The Songs of the Wrens

This is one of a series of posts about books used as source material for Art Song Central.

Collection Title: The Window; Or, The Songs of the Wrens
Music: Arthur Sullivan
Text: Alfred Tennyson
Publisher: Strahan & Co.
Publication date: 1871

A complete version is available for download via Google Books: The Window


Four years ago Mr. Sullivan requested me to write a little song-cycle, German fashion, for him to exercise his art upon. He had been very successful in setting such old songs as “Orpheus with his lute,” and I drest up for him, partly in the old style, a puppet whose almost only merit is, perhaps, that it can dance to Mr. Sullivan’s instrument. I am sorry that my four-year-old puppet should have to dance at all in the dark shadow of these days; but the music is now completed, and I am bound by my promise.

A. Tennyson.
December, 1870

Contents: (Title, followed by first line)

  1. On The Hill “The lights and shadows fly”
  2. At The Window “Vine, vine and eglantine”
  3. Gone! “Gone! Gone till the end of the year”
  4. Winter “The frost is here, and fuel is dear”
  5. Spring “Birds’ love and birds’ song
  6. The Letter “Where is another sweet as my sweet?”
  7. No Answer “The mist and the rain, the mist and the rain”
  8. No Answer “Winds are loud and you are dumb”
  9. The Answer “Two little hands that meet”
  10. Ay! “Be merry, all birds, to-day”
  11. When? “Sun comes, moon comes, time slips away”
  12. Marriage Morning “Light so low upon earth”

This was an interesting find in Google Books. I had never heard of this set, and I don’t know it to be of any particular value, beyond the considerable notoriety of both poet and composer. Song posts will be created for the songs in this set if they prove worthy and if there is interest.