A Round (or two) with the Bard [satb+pno]


The Sanibel Community Chorus commissioned me to write a piece celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. I went through his plays and found several drinking scenes that I pastiched together to create an imagined pub scene incorporating aspects of three of his plays. The music references a tune that would have been common at the time, the mood is raucous and silly, and a platoon of kazoos make an appearance.




Antony and Cleopatra (II.vii)
Come, let’s all take hands,
till the conquering wine hath steeped our sense
In soft and delicate Lethe.

Come, thou monarch of the vine,
Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
In thy fats our cares be drown’d,
With thy grapes our hairs be crown’d:

Cup us, till the world go round!

Henry IV, Part II (V.iii)
A cup of wine that’s brisk and fine,
And drink unto the Leman mine:
and a merry heart lives long-a.
Fill the cup and let it come
I’ll pledge you a mile to the bottom.
Be merry, be merry, my wife has all,
For women are shrews, both short and tall.
‘Tis merry in hall when beards wag all,
And welcome merry Shrovetide.
Be merry, be merry.

The Winter’s Tale (IV.iii)
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.