So, it is with a sadness that is more than sad that I must take Ms. Merchant to task on her new, lon-awaited album, Leave Your Sleep.
It's an album of children's poems set to music, though not, it seems, a children's album per se.
All well and good. You may sample the tracks on the Natalie Merchant website.
The problem is the last song, which sets to music Gerard Manley Hopkin's best know poem, Spring and Fall.
I listened to first line of the song and had to stop. What is being sung is approximately: "Marg'ret, are you grieving..."
This is the way I say Margaret, and probably most people too, but it not what Hopkins wrote. He wrote:
MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
That is, approximately: MAR-gar-ET ARE you GRIEV-ing.
Does it make a difference, given the differences between music and spoken word. Yes, yes it does. My friends, it does make a difference.
|Spring and Fall|
|to a young child|