Richard Lambert Music

A Song for Bath (Op.51 No.1a)

A secular part-song for SSAATBB choir with piano accompaniment, painting a miniature of a day in the city of Bath, from dawn to dusk

This song, to words by Hilary Spiers, was written in March 2011 as an entry for the competition A Song for Bath. The music is identical to Letters home; only the words and number of voices have changed. Music has long been an important presence in Bath, and certainly since the 18th century when Beau Nash presided as the city’s Master of Ceremonies. Its Latin title, Ab aurora ad crepusculum is a reference to the city’s Roman name, Aquae Sulis.

The song loosely paints a miniature of a Bath day, from dawn to dusk, and attempts to refer to the city in both the past and the present.

The voice may be male or female; the accompaniment may be for piano alone, guitar alone – or combined.

Ab aurora ad crepusculum – from dawn to dusk

Wind skips along the pavements
In the dying hours of night;
The slumbering city stirs itself,
In milky morning light
And Aquae Sulis wakes to hail
Another dawn, another day.

The bones of ancient travellers
Lie bleached beneath our feet;
The honeyed walls of regal Bath
Still echo to their beat.
For Aquae Sulis offers all
A treasure house within her walls.

Come, strangers! You will find a welcome here
As for two thousand years and more.
For here is peace and here is ease,
From winter’s chill to summer’s breeze.

The spa and baths are busy now,
The Abbey rings with sound
And markets flourish, families grow
And changes shake the ground.
But Aquae Sulis stands serene
Midst what’s to come and what has been.

Come, strangers! You will find a welcome here
As for two thousand years and more.
For here is peace and here is ease,
From winter’s chill to summer’s breeze.

Streets fade into the night
And now sound a different tune;
The new, the old, they blend and meld
Beneath a timeless moon,
’Til Aquae Sulis sleeps once more,
The past and future both secure.

Come, strangers! You will find a welcome here
As for two thousand years and more.
For here is peace and here is ease,
From winter’s chill to summer’s breeze.
For here is peace and here is ease,
From winter’s chill to summer’s breeze.

© 2011 hilaryspiers.co.uk


Purchase

You can view and purchase the score of A Song for Bath from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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