- Duration: 4 minutes
- Chorus: SATB
- Instrumentation: Piano/Organ OR Full Orchestra
- Published by: Audio Network & Hawes Music
Anthem for Doomed Youth originally appeared as part of the third movement of The Great War Symphony written to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The well-known words by Wilfred Owen are sung against an instrumental elegy. For this reason, the accompaniment should make perfect sense in itself with the frequently syncopated, broken choral parts suggesting a sense of grief – even of weeping.
Full Score & Orchestral parts
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What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Words: ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
Reproduced by kind permission from Wilfred Owen: The War Poems (Chatto & Windus, 1994), Editor: Jon Stallworthy.