TB (brief divisi) and Piano
Andrew Lane (with permission)
Order from the composer
Commissioned by the Amabile Choir’s of London, Carol Beynon
In This Wide World is a piece which removes all that is not needed. The piano is steadfast in its clarity, the melodic ideas float in and out of the pianos gestures. The original poem is adapted freely. The music moves from unison lines to two and three part writing; the song ends in four part lines which weave and intermingle.
Here On The Top Of Vimy Ridge I Stand
Full poem below (BOLD is text used for this composition)
By Andrew Lane ~ 1917
Here on the top of Vimy Ridge I stand
And looking out behold so vast a land
Still dear to France though mauled by alien hand
So long a time.
What wreckage here, where once was landscape fair
What woeful damage done beyond compare
To this broad plain below, so rare so rare
Which once did smile.
There in the valley lies the village torn
By German shell and rendered quite forlorn
Where not long since youth wandered night and morn
And breathed its love.
What is that grey streak in the distance far?
A chalky trench which Germans try to mar
And rob there from the flower of the war
With cruel shell.
Here is some lonely but triumphant grave
Of some much loved unknown Canadian brave
Who gave his life, freedom and truth to save
For all mankind.
There, there and there wherever one may look
One sees that Death has swung his reaping hook
And then swift winged forsook, in faith forsook
The noble dead.
Is this the end, the end of godly fight?
Or is there something still more radiant bright?
Can not it be that upward into Light
Their souls have flown?
When shall it end, when all this torture cease?
When liberty can get an age long lease
To unmolested roam where’er she please
In this wide world.
So there is something greater than to breathe
It is to keep alive life’s verities
To keep Light’s flickering torch aglow and leave
The rest to God.
Mr. Gordon Lane (London, Ontario) submitted his father’s First World War poems which had only recently been rediscovered. Andrew Lane was a Gunner with the 43rd Battery Canadian Field Artillery. The unit was commissioned in 1916 by Lt. Col. David McCrae, John McCrae’s father. Gunner Lane’s poems written in 1917- 1918, provide us with a contemporary soldier’s thoughts and emotions.