Every man - (2008)
George Reginald Margetson
for medium or low voice and piano
Every man has got a hobby,
Every poet has some fault,
Every sweet contains its bitter,
Every fresh thing has its salt.
Every mountain has a valley,
Every valley has a hill,
Every ravine is a river,
Every river is a rill.
Every fool has got some wisdom,
Every wise man is a fool,
Every scholar is a block-head,
Every dunce has been to school.
Every bad man is a good man,
Every fat man is not stout,
Every good man is a bad man
But 'tis hard to find him out.
Every strong man is a weak man,
You may doubt it as you please,
Every well man is a sick man,
Every doctor has disease.
[ 5 pages, circa 2' 00" ]
George Reginald Margetson
"Was born at St. Kitts, British West Indies, in 1877. He was educated at the Moravian school in his district. He came to the United States in 1897. Mr. Margetson has found it necessary to work hard to support a large family and his poems have been written in his spare moments. He is the author of two volumes of verses, Songs of Life and The Fledgling Bard and the Poetry Society and, in addition, a large number of uncollected poems. Mr. Margetson lives in Boston." [ this most incomplete resume found in The Book of American Negro Poetry, 1922, edited by James Weldon Johnson. ] (Sadly I have been unable to find any additional information about this poet to date.)
The text is found in Part II of Margetson's "Stanzas from The Fledgling Bard and the Poetry Society," as reprinted by Johnson. The first publication of this text was in the collection, Songs of Life, 1910, Sherman, French and Company, Boston, Massachusetts.
Tessitura for low voice
The 3-3-2 division of eight notes in the opening measures and thereafter reflects a popular song rhythm and the "Scotch snap" rhythm of the opening gesture reflects an aggressive reading of the text's repetitive use of "every" pronounced in the vernacular as a two syllable word. The major third of the scale in the lower octave and minor third in the second octave's place makes modal the vocal line in a quasi-blues fashion though nothing about this setting is a standard blues form or harmonic scheme.
The form of the stanzas becomes A-A'-an altered A''-A-A' with a simple tag to end the setting.
The score for Every man is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
edition for low voice and piano
Tessitura for medium voice
edition for medium voice and piano