- Duration: 4 minutes
- Chorus: SATB
- Instrumentation: Piano/Organ OR Full Orchestra
- Published by: Audio Network & Hawes Music
The Dead Soldier originally appeared as part of the third movement of The Great War Symphony written to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. It is important for choirs to be aware throughout of the independent, melodic accompaniment where much of the sorrow of this moving poem is centred. Every effort should be made to convey the words clearly especially in the first verse where the syntax is quite complex. Equally important, is that performers should identify with the deep pain felt at the loss of a loved one.
Full Score & Orchestral parts
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Thy dear brown eyes which were as depths where truth
Lay bowered with frolic joy, but yesterday
Shone with the fire of thy so guileless youth,
Now ruthless death has dimmed and closed for aye.
Those sweet red lips, that never knew the stain
Of angry words or harsh, or thoughts unclean,
Have sung their last gay song. Never again
Shall I the harvest of their laughter glean.
The goodly harvest of thy laughing mouth
Is garnered in; and lo! the golden grain
Of all thy generous thoughts, which knew no drouth
Of meanness, and thy tender words remain
Stored in my heart; and though I may not see
Thy peerless form nor hear thy voice again,
The memory lives of what thou wast to me.
We knew great love….We have not lived in vain.
Words: ‘The Dead Soldier’, Sydney Oswald (1880-1926)