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The heart's desire

First line:
The boys are up the woods with day
composer
1917
author of text
final three stanzas of 'March' from 'A Shropshire Lad'

 
The Heart's Desire is Ireland's 1917 setting of the final three of the five stanzas of A E Housman's poem 'March' from A Shropshire Lad. Housman never liked composers 'tampering' with his verse, so what he made of this blatant truncation is anyone's guess. The rolling, richtoned melody marks this off as one of the most overtly passionate of Ireland's songs. As boys and girls go to the fields in search of daffodils and palms, so should lovers be able to fulfil their hearts' desires … 'lovers should be loved again'—full of meaning for Housman—in his case as a repressed homosexual—and apparently also for Ireland, who repeats the final two lines with great force.

from notes by Andrew Green 1999

Recordings

Housman: A Shropshire Lad
CDD220442CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Ireland: Songs
CDA67261/22CDs

Details

Track 11 on CDD22044 CD1 [2'27] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 7 on CDA67261/2 CD2 [2'33] 2CDs

Track-specific metadata

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