Music Monday: Yeats to Music

There is something ironic about setting Yeats’ poetry to music. A number of times he wrote that he had a problem with music because he never liked it when a word was drawn out for musical reasons. The example he always gave was of the word love, which in a song could suddenly become “looooo-ve.”

Nonetheless, a number of people have set Yeats’ poetry to music. For the next few Music Mondays, we will be featuring some of these.



The Song of Wandering Aengus
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lads and hilly lands.
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.


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