Poetry and Music 2

by Toby Darling

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Some recent settings of my favourite poems to music

I have made videos for all of these settings which can be found at:


released April 20, 2016

All poems as per credited authors.
All music composed and produced by Toby Darling 2016.
Feel free to do anything you want with these arrangements/recordings.




Toby Darling Winchester, UK

Amateur enthusiast.
Feel free to do anything you want with these tracks, I am not interested in making money from music.

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Track Name: The Brook (Edward Thomas)
The Brook
By Edward Thomas
E Bm A E
Seated once by a brook, watching a child
E Bm A C#7
Chiefly that paddled, I was thus beguiled.
D E F#m Bm
Mellow the blackbird sang and sharp the thrush
F#m Bm A C#7
Not far off in the oak and hazel brush,

Unseen. There was a scent like honeycomb
From mugwort dull. And down upon the dome
Of the stone the cart-horse kicks against so oft
A butterfly alighted. From aloft

D E F#m Bm
He took the heat of the sun, and from below.
F#m Bm F#m Bm
On the hot stone he perched contented so,
D E F#m Bm
As if never a cart would pass again
C#m F#m C#m F#m
That way; as if I were the last of men

And he the first of insects to have earth
And sun together and to know their worth.
I was divided between him and the gleam,
The motion, and the voices, of the stream,

The waters running frizzled over gravel,
That never vanish and for ever travel.
A grey flycatcher silent on a fence
And I sat as if we had been there since

E D C#m D
The horseman and the horse lying beneath
A Bm C#m D
The fir-tree-covered barrow on the heath,
E D C#m D
The horseman and the horse with silver shoes,
A Bm C#m Bm
Galloped the downs last. All that I could lose

D A C#m D
I lost. And then the child’s voice raised the dead.
E D A C#m
“No one’s been here before” was what she said
D A Bm E
And what I felt, yet never should have found
F#m Bm F#m C#7
A word for, while I gathered sight and sound.

Source: Last Poems (1918)
Track Name: Springtime (Shakespeare)
Song: “It was a lover and his lass”
(from As You Like It)
Em Am Bm

It was a lover and his lass,
Em D G Bm
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
G Em D Bm
That o’er the green cornfield did pass,
Em G Bm Am G Bm
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
Am Bm D B
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
Those pretty country folks would lie,
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crownèd with the prime
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Track Name: The Listeners (De La Mare)
The Listeners

Em Dm/E
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Am7 Dm/A
Knocking on the moonlit door;
Gm C
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret, Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time; ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
Bb Dm
But no one descended to the Traveller;
Gm Dm
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
C Gm
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
F Am7
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair, That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken By the lonely Traveller’s call.
Bb C
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Dm G
Their stillness answering his cry,
Am Em
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
Am Em
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
F#m C#m D F#m
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
F#m C#m B
Louder, and lifted his head:—
F#m C#m
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
D F#m
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners, Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward, When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Em: 0x545x
Dm/E: 0x323x
Am7: x0455x
Dm/A: x0323x
Gm: 355333
Track Name: The Young British Soldier (Kipling)
The Young British Soldier

WHEN the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Cm Gm
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Cm D7
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Gm Cm
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Bb D7
So-oldier of the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

Gm Dm Cm Gm
First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
Gm F Bb D7
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts -
Gm Dm Bb Cm
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts -
Gm F Gm
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes - as it will past a doubt -
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old -
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em - you'll swing, on my oath! -
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are - you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

x310xx - xx32xxx - x310xx - x1334x - x1333x [Cm - F Cm - Bbsus4 - Bb]
Track Name: The Vagabond (Stevenson)
The Vagabond (R.L. Stevenson)

Em D Am Em
Give to me the life I love,
G D Em
Let the lave go by me,
Em D Am Em
Give the jolly heaven above
G D Am
And the byway nigh me.
Bm Em Bm Em
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bm A Em
Bread I dip in the river –
Em D Am Em
There's the life for a man like me,
G D Em
There's the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Bm Em
Or let autumn fall on me
F#m G
Where afield I linger,
C#m F#m
Silencing the bird on tree,
C#m F#m
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field -
D Em
Warm the fireside haven –
Bm A
Not to autumn will I yield,
Em G-A
Not to winter even!

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.
Track Name: I Remember (Hood)
I Remember, I Remember (Thomas Hood)

I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
Eb Eb/D
He never came a wink too soon
Eb/C Bb
Nor brought too long a day;
Cm Gm
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

Bb F
I remember, I remember
Eb Bb
The roses red and white,
Cm Gm
The violets and the lily cups--
Those flowers made of light!
Bb Cm
The lilacs where the robin built,
Dm Fm
And where my brother set
Cm Fm
The laburnum on his birthday,--
The tree is living yet!

Bb Cm Dm Fm Cm Fm D7

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
The summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

Bb Cm Dm Fm Cm Fm D7 Cm
Track Name: Aspens (Edward Thomas)
Dm/Bb Dm/A Gm F
All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Dm Am7 Dm
Above the inn, the smithy, and the shop,
Dm/Bb Dm/A Gm F
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Dm C Bb Am
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.

Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe, and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing—
The sounds that for these fifty years have been.

Bb C Dm
The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
Bb C Dm
And over lightless pane and footless road,
C Dm C Dm
Empty as sky, with every other sound
Gm C Dm
Not ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,

A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.

And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.

Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.

Dm=xx0231 Gm=355333 Am7 = x02010
Track Name: City of Sleep (Kipling)
The City of Sleep

"The Brushwood Boy"

Dm7+9 G*
Over the edge of the purple down,
Cmaj7 Am7-Bm7
Where the single lamplight gleams,
Dm7+9 G*
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
Cmaj7 Am7-Bm7
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams --
Fm Bb
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
Fm Bb
And the sick may forget to weep?
Cm Gm
But we -- pity us! Oh, pity us!
Cm D7
We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
F D7
Back from the City of Sleep!

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
Fetter and prayer and plough --
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
For her gates are closing now.
It is their right in the Baths of Night
Body and soul to steep,
But we -- pity us! ah, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We must go back with Policeman Day --
Back from the City of Sleep!

Over the edge of the purple down,
Ere the tender dreams begin,
Look -- we may look -- at the Merciful Town,
But we may not enter in!
Outcasts all, from her guarded wall
Back to our watch we creep:
We -- pity us! ah, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us! --
We that go back with Policeman Day --
Back from the City of Sleep!

Dm7+9 = x5755x
G* = 3x443x
Am7 - x0201x
Bm7 = x0402x
Track Name: Big Steamers (Kipling)
Big Steamers
Am Em
"Oh, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers,
Am Em
With England's own coal, up and down the salt seas?"
Dm G
"We are going to fetch you your bread and your butter,
Your beef, pork, and mutton, eggs, apples, and cheese."

"And where will you fetch it from, all you Big Steamers,
And where shall I write you when you are away?
"We fetch it from Melbourne, Quebec, and Vancouver--
Address us at Hobart, Hong-Kong, and Bombay."

Bb Eb
"But if anything happened to all you Big Steamers,
Dm C
And suppose you were wrecked up and down the salt sea?"
Dm G
"Then you'd have no coffee or bacon for breakfast,
And you'd have no muffins or toast for your tea."

Gm Dm
"Then I'll pray for fine weather for all you Big Steamers,
Gm F Em
For little blue billows and breezes so soft."
Gm Dm
"Oh, billows and breezes don't bother Big Steamers,
Gm F Em Dm G
For we're iron below and steel-rigging aloft."

"Then I'll build a new lighthouse for all you Big Steamers,
With plenty wise pilots to pilot you through."
"Oh, the Channel's as bright as a ball-room already,
And pilots are thicker than pilchards at Looe."

"Then what can I do for you, all you Big Steamers,
Oh, what can I do for your comfort and good?"
"Send out your big warships to watch your big waters,
That no one may stop us from bringing you food.

"For the bread that you eat and the biscuits you nibble,
The sweets that you suck and the joints that you carve,
They are brought to you daily by all us Big Steamers--
And if one hinders our coming you'll starve!"

The music for this piece comes from a quartet I composed called Karon Quartet. You can download the sheet music from free-scores.com
Track Name: The Lamention of the Old Pensioner (Yeats)

by: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

G#m F#
ALTHOUGH I shelter from the rain
Under a broken tree
C#m B
My chair was nearest to the fire
In every company
B F#m
That talked of love or politics,
G#m A
Ere Time transfigured me.

Though lads are making pikes again
For some conspiracy,
And crazy rascals rage their fill
At human tyranny,
My contemplations are of Time
That has transfigured me.

Bm F#m
There's not a woman turns her face
Upon a broken tree,
And yet the beauties that I loved
Are in my memory;
F#m A B
I spit into the face of Time
C#7 F#m A B C#7
That has transfigured me.