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The Chorister
Words by Fred. E. Weatherley.
Published By Cramer & Co., 1876.

Music cover

In 1874, Cramer & Co., published a set of songs by Sullivan entitled The Young Mother, Three Simple Songs. The first two, Ay De Mi and Cradle Song (words anonymous) are included here. The latter was re-published by Metzler & Co., in 1876, retitled Little Darling Sleep Again. The third song, The First Departure, (words by Rev. E. Munroe) was also re-published in 1876 by Metzler & Co., with new words by Frederick E. Weatherly (1848-1929) as The Chorister. In this form the song gained greater popularity.

Weatherly wrote the lyrics to about fifteen hundred published songs, the most famous being The Old Brigade, Danny Boy and Roses of Picardy. He also translated Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and it is to him we owe the immortal line "On with the motley, the paint and the powder".

Enlarged version of the music cover.

Karaoke File

O sweet and dim the lights and shade,
Across the minster stealing;
I heard the grand old organ play'd,
The anthem upward pealing.
One boy's sweet voice above the rest,
I heard so clearly ringing,
The Angels must his dreams have blest,
To teach him such sweet singing.

His earnest eyes to heav'n were bent,
With yearning pure and lowly;
To follow where his singing went,
And join the Angels holy,
No gentle mother's love had he,
But God had comfort giv'n,
For he might sing on earth, and she
Might hear her child from heav'n.

Last night I dreamt of harps of gold,
Heav'n's gates were roll'd asunder.
I saw the grave sweet face of old,
Uprais'd in joy and wonder.
He sings among the Angels now,
Beside the crystal river,
The light of God is on his brow,
For ever and for ever.
May Morning on Magdalene Tower - detail. (Holman Hunt)
May Morning - Hunt

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