There Will Come Soft Rains - (2013)
for mezzo soprano and piano
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
3 pages, circa 3' 45"
The text is found in Teasdale's Flame and Shadow, 1920. For other settings of her texts, click here.
A simple, measure-long gesture repeats throughout, sometimes with a lingering bass note and others with octaves above it. Time passes as the text unfolds with a measured pace, ritardandi and ensuing a tempi. The message speaks of nature's distance -- "not one will care" -- from not of man's obsession with warring, often between similar peoples, but even an awareness of mankind were we "gone." The self-importance of "isms" conflate to "I'm right and you're wrong," while nature continues on without taint of such human self-importance and self-deception.
The score for There Will Come Soft Rains 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.
There Will Come Soft Rains