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On the Beach at Fontana
On the Beach at Fontana is part of a cycle of ten art songs on poems by James Joyce that I wrote during the winter and spring of 2019.
Joyce reveals his vulnerabilities in the text. It's about a father's love for his son. It's also about the fear of loss. The inspiration for the poem can be found in Joyce's notebook of 1907:
I held him in the sea at the baths of Fontana and felt with humble love the trembling of his frail shoulders: Asperge me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor: lavabis me at super nivem dealbalor [Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me and I shall be made whiter than snow]. Before he was born I had no fear of fortune.
On the Beach at Fontana is also available as part of a compilation:
Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pier-stakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
From whining wind and colder
Grey sea I wrap him warm,
And touch his trembling fine-boned shoulder
And trembling arm.
Around us fear, descending,
Darkness of fear above;
And in my heart how sweet unending
Ache of love!
James Joyce, 1882 - 1941
YEAR OF COMPOSITION
High Voice Solo and Piano
Medium Voice Solo and Piano
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
PURCHASE SHEET MUSIC
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