I drukke, I dare, so will I may,
I darken, I dare, so will I may, when I think on my ending day
for SSAATTBB a cappella choir
Duration: ca. 4′
Words: Anonymous C14th, from Sloane MS 2593
Music by Edward Caine
This is one of a number of settings based on the Sloane MS 2593 manuscript – a 14/15th Century manuscript based in The British Library which contains a large number of carols and songs written in Middle English and Latin. For more information on the Sloane 2593 project click here.
This song ruminates on death in some detail:
Quan I am ded and leyd in ston,
I xal rotyn fleych and bon,
“When I am dead and laid in stone,
I shall be rotten flesh and bone,”
The setting opens with a falling octatonic scale, and the same scale is used as a basic mode for the rest of the piece. I think of the nature of the piece being both dramatic and contemplative, and in my mind it hovers somewhere between Vaughan Williams’ The Cloud Capp’d Towers” and Britten’s Ye that passen by, and these are certainly my influences.