Life Has Loveliness to Sell

Published soon by Roger Dean Publishing Company
as part of the Janet Galvān Choral Series
Catalog # 15/2314R


Secular text in English
Difficulty rating (1-5): 2

 listen to Life Has Loveliness to Sell
erformed by the Wright State University Women's Choir,
directed by Drew Collins
recorded live at the Ohio MEA Convention 2009

Although there have been many settings of this inspired text, either under this title or American poet Sara Teasdale's original title, Barter, this setting is the most intently aware of the sad irony of the poem as viewed in the context of Teasdale's eventual death by suicide. This is revealed in the use of minor and modal harmonies and the pang of melancholy intertwined with moments of soaring beauty.

This sensitive setting will offer conductors the opportunity to teach flowing lines as well as the elements of choral blend and tuning.

Complete perusal score available upon request.


(Barter – Teasdale’s original title)

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.





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