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The Long Day Closes (song)

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Wikipedia article

'The Long Day Closes' is a part song with lyrics by Henry Fothergill Chorley and music by Arthur Sullivan, published in 1868. This song is one of seven part songs that Sullivan published that year, and it became Sullivan's best-known part song. Sullivan wrote most of his twenty part songs prior to the beginning of his long collaboration with W. S. Gilbert.

Chorley had also collaborated with Sullivan on other songs, on Sullivan's first (but never-produced) opera, 'The Sapphire Necklace' (completed in 1867), and on a piece for chorus and orchestra, 'The Masque at Kenilworth' (Birmingham Festival, 1864).

With the growth of choral societies during the Victorian era, part songs became popular in Britain (as they had earlier in Germany and elsewhere). The term "part song" is used here to mean a song written for several vocal parts, usually with the highest part carrying the melody and the other voices supplying accompanying harmonies, rather than one which is contrapuntal like a madrigal. Part songs are often sung unaccompanied.

The plaintive harmonies of 'The Long Day Closes' and the text's touching meditation on death have made the song a frequent selection at events of mourning, and in particular it was often sung at funerals of members of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. There are at least three recordings of the song, including the instrumental arrangement at the end of the soundtrack of the film Topsy-Turvy called "Resolutions". Terence Davies's 1992 film 'The Long Day Closes' uses a recording of the song by Pro Cantione AntiquaStevenson, Joseph. [http://www.allmusic.com/artist/pro-cantione-antiqua-q47060/biography Pro Cantione Antiqua Biography], Allmusic, accessed 16 April 2012 singing the song 'a cappella'.[http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/feature/49363 "Sound And The Fury: Terence Davies"] , BFI Sight and Sound, April 2007, accessed 16 April 2012


:No star is o'er the lake,

:Its pale watch keeping,

:The moon is half awake,

:Through grey mist creeping,

:The last red leaves fall round

:The porch of roses,

:The clock hath ceased to sound,

:The long day closes.

:Sit by the silent hearth

:In calm endeavour,

:To count the sounds of mirth,

:Now dumb for ever.

:Heed not how hope believes

:And fate disposes:

:Shadow is round the eaves,

:The long day closes.

:The lighted windows dim

:Are fading slowly.

:The fire that was so trim

:Now quivers lowly.

:Go to the dreamless bed

:Where grief reposes;

:Thy book of toil is read,

:The long day closes, etc.


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