Music by Dennis Livingston
Set to a poem by W.H. Auden


Performer: Christy Frye
Out of the Box:
Black Fox Lounge, Washington, DC 2012


Sophia Bilides
Demo singer: Sophia Bilides
Demo pianist: Doug Hammer



Length of song: 3:10

Song style/genre: Mid-temp, mixed genres

Key(s): F major

Note range (Low/High): F below middle C to G above middle C

About the song: Auden uses the villanelle form as a scaffolding for his six-stanza poem, in which the first and last lines of the first stanza take turns repeating as the final line of the next four stanzas and then come together as the last lines of the poem. I divided the stanzas into sets of two and gave each a different feel, from ballad to gentle swing to showtune pizzazz. In the poem, Time repeatedly can say nothing but "I told you so" as the response to the examples given of our encounters with mortality. This is the "price we have to pay" for being alive and if there is any answer to our existential dilemma, "if I could tell you I would let you know" — but I can't tell you because I don't know. There is a hint in the 5th stanza that some things may be lasting after all; roses may really want to grow and a vision (of whatever) intends to stay; yet here too, we don't really know. " There are no fortunes to be told" and that's the way it is.

Gender point of view: Irrelevant


  CONTACT DENNIS  to request sheet music and/or a CD or MP3 for this song. The message should include your name, address, phone (optional), e-mail and your website, if any.

Back to SONGS main page



 Download RealPlayer for free!

 Download Acrobat Reader for free!