Monday, October 04, 2021

Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times

I learned about Alice Duer Miller's book from a conversation on an episode of the "Clear and Vivid" podcast between Alan Alda, Lynn Sherr and Ellen Goodman called "She Votes!" I knew immediately that these light verses should be turned into songs right away.

You can find podcast episode here, and the 1915 book they talk about here.

I am in the process of setting a few of the poems for voice and harp (or piano), and have shared the first of my set in the IMSLP. I'm hoping for a real performance in the not-too-distant future, but for now you can listen to a computer-generated one here.

It is my hope that other composers will set some of the verses in this book (that link goes to the public domain Gutenberg text), and will also make their songs available in the IMSLP. Then we might have a whole collection.

Please share this post with composers you think might be interested. My setting is for harp because I happened to talk about the idea first with a harpist, but I'm hoping for a grand array of vocal and instrumental settings.

[October 1, 2021]

You can find my setting of "Evolution" on this page of the IMSLP

I'm happy to report that I'm not the first composer to be moved musically by this set. Lori Laitman set a few of these poems, and used the title of Alice Duer Miller's book as the title of her recently released CD.

I'm hoping to be able to add other composers to this list. You (and I) can find out more about Alice Duer Miller and her work here.

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