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We'll to the woods no more

composer
1926/7

 
The short 'cycle' We'Il to the woods no more (1926/27) sees Ireland once more picking up the threads of his admiration for A E Housman, and in the process providing yet another birthday offering for his friend Arthur Miller. The cycle in fact consists of two songs plus a poignant, extended postlude for piano, Spring will not wait. Both songs deal with Ireland's and Housman's deep sense of the fragility of fife and friendship. The source is not A Shropshire Lad but Housman's Last Poems, published in 1922, for which We'll to the woods no more formed a kind of prelude. Its haunting lines are ostensibly concerned with sadness at the onset of winter—'the laurels are all cut'—but clearly is caught up in a more universal sense of loss. In Boyhood returns to the familiar Ireland theme of lasting friendships, but the 'winter' of the first song finds its counterpart here in the knowledge that 'the hearts I lost my own to' have gone overseas where 'they died for me' … one of those uncanny pieces of apparent prescience to be found so often in A Shropshire Lad, giving it that relevance during The Great War which made it a best-seller.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999

Recordings

Ireland: Songs
CDA67261/22CDs Please, someone, buy me …

Details

No 1: We'll to the woods no more
author of text

Track 34 on CDA67261/2 CD2 [2'28] 2CDs Please, someone, buy me …
No 2: In boyhood
author of text

Track 35 on CDA67261/2 CD2 [1'41] 2CDs Please, someone, buy me …
No 3: Spring will not wait
Track 36 on CDA67261/2 CD2 [3'43] 2CDs Please, someone, buy me …

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