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Donald Fitch, Blake Set to Music: A Bibliography of Musical Settings of the Poems and Prose of William Blake (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). Volume 5, xxxix+281 pp. illus.

“Loud & more loud the living music floats upon the air” (Vala, p. 58, 1.611 William Blake’s Writings (1978), 1157, the Blake text quoted below. )

According to Blake, “Poetry Painting & Music [are] the three Powers in Man of conversing with Paradise which begin page 26 | back to top the flood did not Sweep away.”22 Vision of the Last Judgment (Notebook 81 [p. 1017]). There is a distinction between the arts in eternity and the arts after the flood, for “in Eternity the Four Arts [are] Poetry, Painting, Music, and Architecture” (Milton pl. 24, ll. 55-56, p. 372). These arts are crucial to all civilization: “Nations are Destroy’d, or Flourish, in proportion as Their Poetry Painting and Music, are Destroy’d or Flourish” (Jerusalem, pl. 3, [420]). Blake’s practice of poetry and painting are now well known, but we have very little evidence about his music-making. According to his early friend J. T. Smith, about 1784 3 J. T. Smith, Nollekens and his Times (1828) (quoted in Blake Records [1969] 457). In A Book for a Rainy Day (1845), Smith added that at Mrs. Mathews’s conversaziones I have often heard him read and sing several of his poems. He as listened to by the company with profound silence, and allowed by most of the visitors to possess original and extraordinary merit. [Blake Records, 26]

Blake wrote many other songs, to which he also composed tunes. These he would occasionally sing to his friends; and though, according to his confession, he was entirely unacquainted with the science of music, his ear was so good, that his tunes were sometimes most singularly beautiful, and were noted down by musical professors.3

Of course it was a comparatively simple style of music which most appealed to Blake. His Island in the Moon (1784?) is apparently in part directed against foreign musical affectations, such as the Handel Festival (May 1784) and operatic arias sung by Italian castrati: “Hang Italian songs[,] lets have English” (891). As he wrote in the Descriptive Catalogue (1809), Paragraph 78, “Music as it exists in old tunes or melodies. . .is Inspiration, and cannot be surpassed; it is perfect and eternal” (852).

Songs and music are recurrent motifs in his poetry, from “Holy Thursday” in Songs of Experience (1789): “. . .like a might wind they raise to heaven the voice of song” (42) to FZ (?1797-1807?): “What is the price of experience[?] Do men buy it for a song” (35, 1.11). This devotion to song was a lifelong addiction. In old age, 4 Alexander Gilchrist, Life of William Blake, ‘Pictor Ignotus’ (1863), 293-94 (Blake Records 305).

He was very fond of hearing Mr. Linnell sing Scottish songs, and would sit by the pianoforte, tears falling from his eyes, while he listened to the Border Melody, to which the song is set, commencing—

‘O Nancy’s hair is yellow as gowd,
And her een as the lift are blue.’
To simple national melodies Blake was very impressionable, though not so to music of more complicated structure. He himself still sang, in a voice tremulous with age, sometimes old ballads, sometimes his own songs, to melodies of his own.4

And in his last illness, he “welcomed the coming of death . . . He lay chaunting songs, and the verses and the music were both the offspring of the moment.”55 Allan Cunningham, Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1830) (Blake Records 502). On his deathbed, he “began to sing Hallelujahs & songs of joy & Triumph which Mrs. Blake described as being truly sublime in music & in Verse. He sang loudly & with true ectatic energy and seemed too happy that he had finished his course . . . .66 Frederick Tatham, MS “Life of Blake” (c. 1832) (Blake Records 528).

Of course, Blake was not a professional musician,77 The William Blake described in “William Blake Musician,” Revista Canaria De Estudios Ingleses 12 (1986): 147-51, was not the author of Songs of Innocence but a doctor of theology and “Prebendary of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, and Rector of St. Thomas’s Church in that City” (fl. c. 1774-96). and he “was entirely unacquainted with the science of music,” as J. T. Smith wrote, but he may have composed music for more traditional poems than Songs of Innocence. The Oxford undergraduate E. G. Marsh wrote to Hayley on 21 February 1802 about 8 Blake Records Supplement (1988) 18-19.

The hymn which inspired our friend . . . [the] poetical engraver . . . . I long to hear Mr Blake’s devotional air, though (I fear) I should have been very aukward in the attempt to give notes to his music. His ingenuity will however (I doubt not) discover some method of preserving his compositions upon paper, though he is not very well versed in bars and crotchets . . . .8

It has only very recently been discovered that Blake was also a friend of E. G. Marsh’s father John Marsh (1752-1828), a barrister of Chichester and one of the most vigorous amateur composers in England in the eighteenth century. He met Blake on 22 October 1800, not long after Blake moved to Felpham, near Chichester, and he knew Blake well enough to give him a white kitten in 1801.99 Christie’s (London) Catalogue of Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts, Valuable Printed Books, Autograph Letters and Manuscripts, 28 Nov. 1990, Lot 285, sold to the Huntington Library. Mrs. Linnell remarked that “Mr Blake . . . used to say how much he preferred a cat to a dog as a companion because she was so much more quiet in her expression of attachment” (Blake Records Supplement 81). Perhaps John Marsh, who was certainly “very well versed in bars and begin page 27 | back to top crotches,” gave “notes to his music,” i.e., transcribed Blake’s tunes; certainly he “began setting to Music” Hayley’s poem entitled “Little Tom the Sailor” illustrated by Blake as he drove home on the day he met Blake.

In his comprehensive book, Blake Set to Music, Donald Fitch lists writings by Blake which are known to have been set to music during the last century and a quarter. The principal contents are a very extensive “List of sources” (ix-xviii); “Introduction” (xxi-xxix); “Alphabetical List of [1412] Entries by Composer” (1-256); “Index of Blake Titles” (257-63); “Index of Performing Combinations,” e.g., “Ballet,” “Bassoon,” “Motion picture” (265-68); “Index of Translated Texts,” i.e., of 11 languages into which Blake’s texts-set-to-music have been translated, including Afrikaans (1), Finnish (1), and Welsh (5) (269); “Index of Names,” e.g., “editors, arrangers, translators, performers, conductors, choreographers, dancers, dedicatees, commissioners, etc.” (271-81).

Of course the book is about how composers have used Blake’s works for their own purposes; Blake’s works are the occasions for this music rather then their subjects. Some of the conclusions to which Fitch comes are not very surprising. For instance, “Far and away the most popular of the Blake poems, as a lyric, is The Lamb; well over 250 settings have been found, and others seem to turn up every month” (xxiii). Somewhat less predictable is the observation that “Denmark since the war has been a veritable hothouse of Blake interest” (xxiv).

Fitch gives an enlightening table of the dates of composition of music set to Blake’s poetry (xxvi), which indicates that Blake became a subject for musical settings very shortly after Gilchrist’s Life of William Blake brought him to wide public attention for the first time in 1863, and the chorus has been swelling steadily ever since:

Published Unpublished Total
1870-79 10 0 10
1880-89 16 0 16
1890-99 56 3 59
1900-09 60 1 61
1910-19 171 22 193
1920-29 151 30 181
1930-39 98 72 170
1940-49 98 125 223
1950-59 185 104 289
1960-69 233 247 480
1970-79 173 463 636
1980-89 83 212 295
Undated 5 63 68
Totals: 1,319 1343 2662

Many, probably most of these settings make little attempt to set Blake’s poetry to music as they think Blake might have done, with music like that “in old tunes or melodies,” and indeed

It would seem that current fashions in the teaching of composition might well be documented from examples found here. Serialism, atonality, the current “international” style are much in evidence in these settings, but so is Broadway and Hollywood in the several music theater productions, and jazz .... [xxv]

But there is evidence that some of the tunes which accompany Blake’s poems are significantly older than this, for Haydn and Beethoven provide some of the music for songs by Blake.1010 According to Bryan N. S. Gooch and David S. Thatcher, Musical Settings of British Romantic Literature: A Catalogue (N.Y. & London, 1982) 1:72, Maurice Green set to music Blake’s “The Fly,” the words of which were “‘made extempore,’ says Ritson, ‘by a gentleman; occasioned by a fly drinking out of his cup of ale,’” and the poem and musical setting were printed in The Harmoncon, 7, 2 (1829): 71. However, the composer’s name is “Greene,” not “Green’” he died in 1755, two years[e] before Blake was born; and the poem he set, called “Busy, Curious, Thirsty Fly,” was published as The Fly: The Word[s] by Mr. Bourne (London, 1735) et seq., and has nothing to do with Blake.

Some of Blake’s poems have been used in strongly polemical contexts, particularly the “Jerusalem” from Milton beginning “And did those feet in ancient time.” Parry’s music for it was written for the Fight for Right movement but first performed at a rally for the Votes for Women campaign (167); it was printed, inter alia, in Socialist Singers and Socialist Songs published as Leaflet No. 10 by the Labour Party in 19332 along with “The Red Flag” and an application to join the Labour Party (according to the Leeds University Library catalogue).

Fitch’s search for music set to Blake texts seems to have been wonderfully comprehensive, as the list of 107 “Sources” indicates, including the U.S. Copyright Office, the Finnish Music Information Centre, and the National Library of Wales, but the Music Division of the British Library is “the largest single repository of printed music listed here” (xxviii). To qualify, apparently a work had to include some text of Blake; at any rate Alex Wilder and Rob de Bois, who each “published cycles entitled Songs of Innocence . . . without any text by Blake” (xxv-xxvi) are each excluded from the catalogue itself.

There have been a few such attempts before, including Martin Nurmi’s “Note on Musical Settings” in A Blake Bibliography (1964 [363-65]), and Bryan N. S. Gooch & David S. Thatcher, in their Musical Settings of British Romantic Literature: A Catalogue in Two Volumes.1111 “Blake, William. 1757-1827,” 1: 43-179 (N.Y. and London: Garland Publishing, 1982). In Gooch and Thatcher, the Blake entries are #308-1932. However, this total is not nearly so great as it seems, for they list eac poem by itself, so that the Songs of Innocence and of Experience could produce up to 55 separate entries. Fitch’s work, which is organized by composer, is certainly much more extensive, though it has fewer entries. Fitch’s work is also far more detailed (including, for instance, the composer’s dates and nationality), and it appears as well to be more accurate. The second work does not seem to be referred to in Fitch’s book.

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Blake Set to Music is an impressive book, with an astonishing amount of information about music inspired by Blake’s poetry. Donald Fitch has performed a work of formidable difficulty with admirable credit.


Thorough and professional and flexible as Blake Set to Music is, however, there are apparently a number of omissions, which I list below, not in any sense of carping but to indicate what an extraordinarily difficult undertaking Fitch has embarked upon. In the list that follows, I have not seen most of the originals, and my information is based on secondary sources whose reliability I am usually not in a position to judge. I have been saved from a number of musicological gaffes by the kindness of Donald Fitch in correspondence.

OCLC Abbreviations Online Computer Library Center
Gootch & Thatcher See fn11

Alwyn, William (1905-85). Songs of Innocence (MSS “pre-1936”). “Twelve settings of Blake texts.” Performed by the New Music Society, London, 12 March 1936. <Gootch & Thatcher #1865>.

—. Tyger, Tyger. “Film released 1969 by BBC-TV. Written and directed by Christopher Burstall. [With original music?].” <Gootch & Thatcher #1796>.

Arkwright, Marian Ursula. Second Album of Songs for Children (London: Alphonse Cary [c. 1895]). “Laughing Song,” “Spring,” plus seven other Blake titles. <Gootch & Thatcher #1150, 1655, 1870>.

Ayres, Frederick. “To the Evening Star” (MS n.d.). <Gootch & Thatcher #1768>.

Barnes, Edward Shippen. “Christmas Nocturne” (“Text by Blake”). (N.Y.: H.W. Gray, 1937). <Gootch & Thatcher #1873>.

Barrell, Bernard. “The Divine Image.” Five Hymn Tunes. (MS 1973). <Gootch & Thatcher #563>.

Beck, Jeremy (1960-). Four Songs by Blake: Originally for Soprano and Bass Clarinet; acc. arr. for violoncello. Composed 1987. Holograph, 11 pp. <OCLC>.

Beethoven, Ludwig wan (1770-1827). “When the green woods laugh” [“Laughing Song”]. Piano Trio. Opus 1, No. 2 (1795). Arranged by J. Michael Diack, The Wonderful Year (London: Paterson’s Publications, 1949). <Gootch & Thatcher #1162>.

—see also Diack.

Bevan, Temple. “When the greenwoods laugh” [“Laughing Song”]. In Playtime (London: Paterson’s Publications [c. 1936]). <Gootch & Thatcher #1151>.

Biberian, Gilbert. “The Sick Rose” (MS 1967). <Gootch & Thatcher #1565>.

Blyton, Carey. “The Sick Rose.” Lachrymae—In Memoriam John Dowland (MS 1956). First performance Swanley, Kent, 15 June 1967. <Gootch & Thatcher #1526>.

Brozen, Michael (1934-). Songs to Poems of William Blake for Medium Voice and Piano (MS “June 1952 Bard College”). <OCLC>.

Bullard, Alan. Four Songs of William Blake (MS 1970). “The Ecchoing Green,” “Infant Joy,” “The Lamb,” “The Shepherd.” First performance St. Peter’s, Eaton Square, London, 21 April 1974. <Gootch & Thatcher #614, 810, 983, 1458>.

Burtch, Mervyn (1929-). Two Blake Songs (MS 1968). “Piping down the Valleys” [“Introduction” to Innocence], “The Lamb.” <Gootch & Thatcher #876, 985>.

California Institute of the Arts “has undertaken a joint composition project, setting texts from Songs of Innocence and of Experience.” <Gootch & Thatcher #1868>.

Chenoweth, Gerald C. “The Ghost of Abel” (MS 1970). First performance University of Massachusetts, 15 March 1971. <Gootch & Thatcher #706>.

—. “And Aged Tiriel stood before the Gates of his beautiful palace.” Scenes from Tiriel (MS 1979). <Gootch & Thatcher #1713>.

Childs, Barney. “The Fly.” Six Settings for Chorus (MS 1953). <Gootch & Thatcher #660>.

Colegrove, Suzanne M. “Mad Song” (MS 1961). <Gootch & Thatcher #1285>.

Constanides, Dinos. “The Lamb” (MS 1977). <Gootch & Thatcher #1001>.

Cope, David H. Tyger! Tyger! (MS 1975-76). <Gooch & Thatcher #1807>.

Corina, John. From Songs of Innocence and [0f] Experience (MS 1976), “The Blossom,” “The Fly,” “Infant Joy,” “Infant Sorrow,” “Introduction” (Innocence), “The Lamb,” “The Lily,” “The Shepherd,” “The Sick Rose,” “Spring.” First performance Music Teachers National Association, Atlanta, Georgia, 1977. <Gooch & Thatcher #386, 662, 815, 852, 882, 1002, 1213, 1466, 1531, 1665>.

Couling, Judith A. Songs of Innocence (MS 1954). “Introduction” (Innocence). <Gooch & Thatcher #883>.

Crosse, Gordon (1937). Celebration (London: Oxford UP, “197-?”) “Text by Blake.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1881>.

Cruft, Adrian. “The Door of Death” [“To the Queen” from Blair’s Grave]. Into God’s Kingdom (London: Joad, 1977). <Gooch & Thatcher #1785>.

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Curchack, Fred. “The Mental Traveller” (MS [c. 1979]), “Theatrical piece.” First performance, Theater of Man, Performance Space, San Francisco, 9 February 1980. <Gooch & Thatcher #1314>.

D’Angelo, James (1939- ). “The Angel” (MS 1964). <Gooch & Thatcher #342>.

De Cormier, Robert. “Little Lamb” [“The Lamb”] (Cincinnati: Canyon, 1952). <Gooch & Thatcher #1008>.

Del Tredici, David. “Little Lamb” [“The Lamb”]. Functional Lessons in Singing (Englewood Cliffs [New Jersey], Prentice-Hall, 1972). <Gooch & Thatcher #1009>.

Diack, J[ohn]. Michael (1869-1946). “To Autumn.” The Wonderful Year (London: Paterson’s Publications, 1949). “Music selected (and in some cases arr.) by Diack from the works of Franz Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1715>.

Duncan, William E[dmondstoune] (1866-1920). English Songs, Book III (Glasgow: Aird, 1919), Book V (1920). “The Lamb,” “Mad Song,” “Memory [Hither Come],” “[Song] When Early Morn Walks Forth.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1014, 1286, 1627, 1652>.

—. “Invocation to Spring” [i.e., “To Spring”] (MS “pre1920”) (York: Banks, 1922). <Gooch & Thatcher #1751>.

Eddleman, David. “Sweet sleep, sweet dreams” [“A Cradle Song,” “Text adapt. by the composer”] (N.Y.: Carl Fischer, 1979). <Gooch & Thatcher #509>.

Emerson, Ethel. The Lamb: A Tone Poem. Music by Ethel Emerson (Stroud: John White [c. 1885]). <Sotheby catalogue, 23 Nov 1970, Lot 39>.

Flavell, E[dwin] M[ark]. “The Child and the Piper” [“Introduction” to Innocence]. The Winchester Series of Two-Part Songs (London: Charles Tuckwood [1891]). <Gooch & Thatcher #888>.

Foulds, John Herber, “Ancient of Days” (“Inspired by Blake’s frontispiece to Europe”). Music Pictures (MS, by 1912). Performed at the Promenade Concerts, London, 5 September 1912. <Gooch & Thatcher #1889>.

Freund, Don. The Chimney Sweeper: Two Songs from William Blake (MS 1967). “The Chimney Sweeper” (Experience). First performance Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, 10 April 1968. <Gooch & Thatcher #419>.

Friskin, Mrs James. “Infant Joy” (“Publ. 1951”). <Gooch & Thatcher #823>.

Galante, Carlo. Songs of Innocence: Botto Canzoni da William Blake per Voce e Pianoforte (Milano: Suvini Zerboni, 1986). The Blake poems are “Never Seek to Tell Thy Love,” “I Asked a Thief,” and “The Fairy.” <OCLC>.

Goehr, Alexander (1932- ). Naboth’s Vineyard (London: Schott & Co., 1963). <Gooch & Thatcher #1893>.

According to the composer, this work, #1 of his Tryptich (Opus 25), “Hall links up with Blake: I’d originally wanted to write a Blake work, using his kind of imagery, but couldn’t find a suitable text. There’s an episode in Blake’s life when he threw a soldier out of his garden; the soldier had him put on trial for sedition, and gave false evidence against him. In a similar way, Jezebel gave false evidence against Naboth . . . .”

Gundry, Inglis. Four Songs of Experience (MS 1950). Includes “Ah! Sunflower,” “Introduction” (Experience), “The Sick Rose,” “The Tyger.” First performance McNaughton Concerts, London, 1957. <Gooch & Thatcher #318, 859, 1535, 1815>.

Haydn, Franz Joseph; see J. Michael Diack.

Heale, Hélène. “Night.” Twelve Two-Part Songs (London: Augener, 1888—“each publ. sep.”). <Gooch & Thatcher #1363>.

Hewitt-Jones, Tony (1926- ). “The Voice of the Ancient Bard.” First performance scheduled for the Brighton Festival, 6-29 May 1988 but cancelled. <Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, XXII, 1 [Summer 1988], 30-31>.

Hoffman, Theodore. The Lamb and the Tiger (MS 1965). “The Lamb,” “The Tyger.” First performance University of South Florida, 1965. <Gooch & Thatcher #1033, 1817>.

Holst, Imogen. “Holy Thursday” (Experience). Songs of Praise (London: Oxford UP, 1925) <Gooch & Thatcher #711>.

Howarth, Helen. Seven Songs of William Blake (London: British & American Music Publishing, 1909, “each pub. sep.”). “The Lamb,” “How sweet . . .” [“The Shepherd], “[Song] How sweet I roam’d,” plus four others. <Gooch & Thatcher #1036, 1482, 1575, 1899>.

Huston, Thomas Scott, Jr. Songs of Innocence (MS 1979). “The Lamb,” “The Little Black Boy,” “The Little Boy Lost,” “On Another Sorrow.” First performance U o Cincinnati Conservatory, 15 July 1979 <Gooch & Thatcher #1037, 1240, 1253, 1423>.

Hyatt, John B. Three Songs from William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and [of] Experience” (MS 1954). “Earth’s Answer,” “Introduction to Songs of Experience,” “The Little Boy Lost.” <Gooch & Thatcher #602, 861, 1254>.

Imbrie, Andrew.[e] “Second Symphony” (c. 1965). The First Movement is called “Tigers of Wrath.” <So the composer told Dr E. B. Bentley in November 1970>.

Jeffers, Ron. Blake Songs for Women’s Chorus. Holograph “Completed Mar. 29, 1987 in Corvallis, Or.” The songs are “The Divine Image” from Innocence and “A Divine Image” from Experience. <OCLC>.

Jones, Kenneth. Four Songs (MS 1954). “Incl. a text by Blake.” Performed in London, 6 December 1954. <Gooch & Thatcher #1903>.

Jubb, Andrew. “Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake to music by Andrew Jubb.” Oxford Pro Musica theatre Music Ensemble director Andrew Jubb with Colin Bennett / Monica Lavers / Amy Nissen, Sunday 2nd May [?1971] at 8:15 Bernard Sunley Theatre St. Catherine’s College [Oxford]. <Poster owned by GEB>.

Kagen, Sergius (1909-64). “Tiger” [“The Tyger”] (MS c. 1949-64) <Gooch & Thatcher #1819>.

King, Norman. “The Little Boy [Found]” (Sydney: Paling, 1937). <Gooch & Thatcher #1241>.

Lander, Cyril B. “Love’s Secret” (“I told my love”). Flores de begin page 30 | back to top mi primavera (MS n.d.). <Gooch & Thatcher #780>.

Leighton, Kenneth. Laudes Animantium (MS [1972]). Opus 61. “The Lamb,” “The Tyger.” First performance Purcell Room, London, 1972. <Gooch & Thatcher #1052>.

Lindsay, Caroline Blanche Elizabeth. “The Shepherd.” Musical Miniatures, Book 1 (London: Stanley Lucas, Weber, [1878]). <Gooch & Thatcher, #1489>.

Mathias, William [James] (1934- ). The Echoing Green: Op. 95, No. 2; Words by William Blake (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987). <OCLC>.

McNair, David T. Psalm for the Children: An Original Composition. Baylor U. M.M. Thesis, 1987. 70 leaves. <OCLC says it is related to Blake>.

Miall, David S. Four Blake Songs (MS 1971). “I saw a chapel all of gold,” “Nurses Song” (Experience), “The Sick Rose,” “Silent Silent Night.” <Gooch & Thatcher #762, 1416, 1543, 1558>.

Moore, J. Chris. “Infant Joy” (Columbus: Beckenhorst, 1979). <Gooch & Thatcher #835>.

Moryl, Richard. An Island in the Moon (Hastings-on-Hudson: General Music Publishing, 1978). “The composer states that this work is a theatre piece, in which the singer moves about the stage as slides of Blake’s MS are projected behind the singer and pf. accompanist.” <Gooch & Thatcher #952>.

Mueller, Fredrick A. Five Songs on Blake Texts (Morehead: FAME, 1963). “Ah! Sunflower!,” “The Fly,” “The Shepherd” [“Introduction” to Innocence], “The Shepherd,” “Spring.” <Gooch & Thatcher #328, 673, 914, 1496, 1695>.

Nuttall, Michael. “A Cradle Song” (MS 1957). First Performance Aldeburgh Festival Blake Bicentenary Competition, 21 June 1957. <Gooch & Thatcher #533>.

Ogilvie, Heather A. “Laughing Song” (MS 1961). <Gooch & Thatcher #1184>.

Pierce, Alesandra. Introduction from 3 Songs of Innocence, for SSA & Piano; The Lamb: II. from 3 Songs of Innocence, for SSA & tom-tom (optional) ([No place identified], 1988). 2 pp., including also “Laughing Song.” <OCLC>.

Pitfield, Thomas B. “The Divine Image.” A Short Community Service. <London: Hinrichsen, 1964)>.

Poston, Elizabeth. “The Lamb.” The Children’s Song Book (London: Bodley, 1961). <Gooch & Thatcher #1076>.

Potter, E[dward] T[uckerman]. The Tyger, Set to Music (Newport, R[hode] Island]: C.E. Hammett, copyright 1878). 4 pp., 8vo. <Grinke & Rodgers catalogue [1969], Lot 16>. <Gooch & Thatcher #1824>.

Pousseur, Henri. “A Memorable Fancy” [Marriage]. Tales and Songs from the Bible of Hell (Milan: Sovini Zerboni, 1979). <Gooch & Thatcher #13107>.

Rau, Earl. “Love’s Secret” (“I told my love” — “The text is misattrib. on the score to Robert Burns”) ([Oklahoma City:] Oklahoma Music Educators’ Association, 1967). <Gooch & Thatcher #789>.

Raymond, Ralph, 1906). <Gooch & Thatcher #790>. 1ph. “I told my love” (“Love’s Secret”) (London: Lublin, 1906). <Gooch & Thatcher #790>.

Rees, Elizabeth. William Blake: Fragments (MS 1971). “Eternity” (“He who bends to himself to joy”). “Song of the Aged Mother” (Vala), lines from Jerusalem, Marriage, Milton (“Daughters of Beulah!”), “With happiness stretchd across the hills.” <Gooch & Thatcher #643, 694, 959, 1311, 1323, 1863>.

Reynardson, H[erbert] F[rederick] Birch. “[Song] My Silks and Fine Array.” Book of Four Songs (London: J. & J. Hopkinson [1889]). <Gooch & Thatcher #1651>.

Rowley, Christopher Edward. School Songs, Book 1 (London: Joseph Williams “[pre-1940]”). “Little Lamb . . .” [“The Lamb”], “Laughing Song” <Gooch & Thatcher #1101, 1193>.

Russo, William. “Spring.” Four Songs of Celebration (N.Y.: G. Schirmer, 1980). <Gooch & Thatcher #1699>.

Sapp, Allen [Dwight] (1922- ). The Little Boy Lost (MS 1953). Fitch #1081 does not note that the Blake texts include not only “The Little Boy Lost” but also “The Shepherd,” “Spring.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1506, 1700>.

Schiffman, Harold. “The Crystal Cabinet” (MS 1959). First performance Tallahassee, 1959. <Gooch & Thatcher #552>.

Schürmann, Gerard. Nine Poems of William Blake (MS 1956). “Ah! Sunflower,” “Eternity” (“He who bends to himself a joy”), “The Fly,” “I laid me down upon a bank,” “Mad Song,” “Morning,” “Man’s Spectre” [“My Spectre around me night & day”], “The Sick rose,” “To the Evening Star.” <Gooch & Thatcher #330, 644, 678, 756, 1291, 1333, 1349, 1547, 1778>.

Sektberg, Willard. “A Fog Land” (Boston: Boston Music Co. [c. 1928]). “Text by Blake.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1915>.

Selby, Philip. Three Blake Fragments (MS 1979). “Are not the joys of the Morning Sweeter,” “Cradle Song,” “Hear the voice” (“Introduction” to Innocence). <Gooch & Thatcher #353, 483, 865, 965>.

Smith, Edith [Euan, Lady]. “[Song] How sweet I Roved [i.e. Roamed].” Two Songs (London: A. Weekes, [1893]). <Gooch & Thatcher #1587>.

Spies, Claudio. Three Songs (MS 1945). “Texts by Blake.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1918>.

Stevens, William. “Cradle Song.” Four Love Songs and a Hate Song (MS 1971). First performance U of Maryland, 23 September 1974. <Gootch & Thatcher #542>.

Stiles, Frank. “The Piper” [“Introduction” to Innocence] (MS 1977). First performance Harnham Festival (U.K.), 1977. <Gootch & Thatcher #929>.

—. “[Song] Love & Harmony” (MS 1979, “in prep. for publ. L[ondon]: Mixolydian). <Gootch & Thatcher #1617>.

Stockhausen,[e] Karlheinz. “Eternity” (“He who bends to himself a joy”). Momente (MS begun 1962). Portions performed 1962, 1965, the whole 1974. <Gooch & Thatcher #645>.

Taffs, Anthony J. Five Songs of William Blake (MS 1960). “Ah! Sunflower,” “The Fly,” “Love’s Secret” (I told my love”), “Piping. . .” [“Introduction” to Innocence], “Night.” begin page 31 | back to top <Gooch & Thatcher #331, 682, 795, 931, 1372>.

Tepper, Albert. Meditations on Blake Songs (MS 1968). “Holy Thursday I” (Experience), “Holy Thursday II” (Innocence), “Infant Joy,” “Introduction (The Bard)” (Innocence), “Introduction (The Piper)” [Innocence], “The Lamb,” “The Tyger.” First performance Adelphi U, Garden City,[e] N.J. Spring 1969. <Gooch & Thatcher #712, 724, 843, 868, 932, 1120, 1833>.

Tho, John. When You Were Born: Five Songs for Soprano, Flute, Cello & Harp. Holograph, 1987. 35 leaves, “1st and 5th works from William Blake; 2d and 4th works in Italian from traditional Italian texts, with English translations; 3d work from Thomas Traherne.” One of the Blake poems is “Infant Joy.” <OCLC>.

Thomas, Christopher [Joseph] (1894- ). “All the hills echoed” [“Nurses Song” from Innocence] (Cincinnati: Willis, 1949). <Gooch & Thatcher #1403>.

Thomas, Mansell. “King of Glory, King of Peace” (MS 1960). First performance at Colwinston Festival, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, 1960. “According to the composer, the work employs a text by Blake, beginning ‘King of Glory, King of Peace.’” However, there is no such text by William Blake. <Gooch & Thatcher #1921>.

Treharne, Bryceson (1879-1948). “Prepare! Prepare!” [“A War Song to Englishmen”] (N. Y. : Composers’ Music Corp., 1921). <Gooch & Thatcher #1487>.

Usher, Julia. “Eternity” (“He who bends to himself a joy”). Due Canti (MS 1970). <Gooch & Thatcher #646>.

The Loom of Light, “a major choral work” which was to have its premiere at the Blake Society of St. James, Piccadilly, London, in 1987 (and was presumably related to Blake). <Flyer for the Society for 11 September-5 December 1986>.

Vollrath, Carl P. Five Short Songs by William Blake (MS 1963).

“The Angel,” “Eternity” (“He who bends to himself a joy”), “The Fly,” “The Sick Rose,” “The Wild Flower’s Song.” First performance U of Florida at Gainesville, 1963. <Gooch & Thatcher #345, 648, 684, 1553, 1861>.

—. Songs of Experience (MS 1966). First performance Troy State U, 1966. “Ah! Sunflower,” “The Garden of Love,” “The Little Vagabond,” “My Pretty Rose Tree,” “The School Boy,” “The Shepherd.” <Gooch & Thatcher #335, 703, 1275, 1346, 1448, 1514>.

—. Songs of Innocence (MS 1960-61). “The Ecchoing Green,” “The Lamb,” “Nurses Song,” First performance U of Florida State, 1961. <Gooch & Thatcher #638, 1126, 1234, 1406>.[e]

Weidig, Adolf. “Mother Sings” [“A Cradle Song”] (Chicago: H.T. FitzSimons, 1931). <Gooch & Thatcher #489>.

Werder, Felix (1922- ). “Holy Thursday” (Innocence) (MS 1978). First performance St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia; issued on Move Records #MS 3025 (1979). “Inspired by Blake’s poem.” <Gooch & Thatcher #726>.

Whitcomb, Robert B. “The Lamb.” Three Songs for Soprano (MS 1955). <Gooch & Thatcher #1132>.

White, John D[avid] (1931- ). Thel Fantasy for Piano. Performed at Kent State U, 26 November 1957. <Information from M.K. Nurmi, whose wife played it>.

Wilder, Alex. “Cradle Song” [“Sleep Sleep beauty bright”]. Lullabies and Night Songs (N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1965). Gooch & Thatcher #494>.

Williams, [Christopher] Becket. “Cupid’s Song” [“Why was Cupid a Boy”] (London: Curwen, 1924). <Gooch & Thatcher #1853>.

Williams, Dorothy I. “The Little Black Boy” (MS 1963). <Gooch & Thatcher #1253>.

Williamson, Malcolm. “The Fly” (MS 1957). First performance at Aldeburgh Festival Blake Bicentenary Competition, 21 June 1957. <Gooch & Thatcher #686>.

Willis, Richard [M]. (1929- ). “The Sick Rose” (Wichita: Hoffman, 1972). <Gooch & Thatcher #1556>.

Wilson, Ray R. “Night” (MS 1946). <Gooch & Thatcher #1379>.

Young, Douglas. “The Divine Image.” Journey between Two Worlds (MS 1979). First performance De Montfort Hall,[e] Leicester, 3 April 1979. <Gooch & Thatcher #593>.

A Little Child Lost & Found (MS 1979). “The Little Girl Found,” “The Little Girl Found.” First performance Autumn 1979. <Gooch & Thatcher #1264, 1269>.

Natural Histories (MS 1976-79). “To See a World in a Grain of Sand” [“Auguries of Innocence”]. “What is Man! / The Suns Light when he unfolds it” (For the Sexes). First performance “Wales” Autumn 1979. <Gooch & Thatcher #370, 689>.


A number of entries in Gooch & Thatcher have nothing to do with William Blake:

Bullock, Ernest (1890-1979). “The Shepherd” (London: Dean,1935). <Gooch & Thatcher #1459>. According to The Catalogue of Printed Music in the British Library to 1980, 62 vols. (1981), the words to “The Shepherd” are by L. Bickersteth.

Darke, Harold [Edwin] (1888-1976). “Infant Joy.” Three Baby Songs (London: Stainer & Bell, 1921). <Gooch & Thatcher #817>. According to the British Library Music catalogue, the words are by F. A. M. Webster.

Greene, Maurice; see note 10.

Mathias, William. “‘A Vision of Time and Eternity’” (London: Oxford UP [“ca. 1972-75?”]). Opus 61. “Text by Blake.” <Gooch & Thatcher #1908>. Fitch tells me in a letter that the words are by Henry Vaughan.

Rowley, Alec. “Let us dance and sing” (London: Novello, 1957). <Gooch & Thatcher #1912>. The score attributes the text to Blake (“Let us dance and sing / Take hand in a ring / With a fa la la . . .”), but there is no such text by Blake.

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