Song's Eternity

for Choir & Organ

Choral Score - Soprano (2), Alto, Tenor, Bass


First performed in Westminster Cathedral on 20th November 2002 by the combined choirs of Westminster Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey under the direction of Martin Baker.

Text: John Clare (1793-1864)

What is song’s eternity?

Come and see.

Can it noise and bustle be?

Come and see.

Praises sung or praises said

Can it be?

Wait awhile and these are dead -

Sigh, sigh;

Be they high or lowly bred

They die.


What is song’s eternity?

Come and see.

Melodies of earth and sky,

Here they be.

Song once sung to Adam’s ears

Can it be?

Ballads of six thousand years

Thrive, thrive;

Songs awakened with the spheres



Mighty songs that miss decay,

What are they?

Crowds and cities pass away

Like a day.

Books are writ and books are read;

What are they?

Years will lay them with the dead -

Sigh, sigh;

Trifles unto nothing wed,

They die.


Dreamers, list the honey-bee;

Mark the tree

Where the bluecap, ‘tootle tee,’

Sings a glee

Sung to Adam and to Eve -

Here they be.

When floods covered every bough,

Noah’s ark

Heard that ballad singing now;

Hark, hark,


‘Tootle, tootle tootle tee’ -

Can it be

Pride and fame must shadows be?

Come and see -

Every season owns her own;

Bird and bee

Sing creation’s music on;

Nature’s glee

Is in every mood and tone



The eternity of song

Liveth here;

Nature’s universal tongue

Singeth here

Songs I’ve heard and felt and seen


Songs like the grass are evergreen:

The giver

Said ‘Live and be’ - and they have been,

For ever.


Additional Information

Item Number: EP7886
Format: Sheet Music
Duration: 8 Mins
ISMN: 979-0-57708-949-2
Instrumentation: Tr/SATB Chorus—Org

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