03:15 | SATB | Score

Program Note

A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky is the closing poem of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The first letter of every line of text spells out the name Alice Pleasance Liddell, whom Carroll was (scandalously) very close to and was said to have inspired his book. The musical setting of the poem captures the wonder of childhood but also the dark nostalgia that accompanies the passage of time.

Text

A Boat beneath a sunny sky,

Lingering onward dreamily

In an evening of July.

 

Children three that nestle near,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Pleased a simple tale to hear.

 

Long has paled that sunny sky:

Echoes fade and memories die:

Autumn frosts have slain July.

 

Still she haunts me, phantom wise,

Alice moving under skies

Never seen by waking eyes.

 

Children yet, the tale to hear,

Eager eye and willing ear,

Lovingly shall nestle near.

 

In a Wonderland they lie,

Dreaming as the days go by,

Dreaming as the summers die:

 

Ever drifting down the stream,

Lingering in the golden gleam,

Life, what is it but a dream?