Sea buckthorn

Music: Michael Buck, Words: Helen B. Cruickshank (1886-1975)

Voicing: SATB divisi

Performance time approx: 1m 45s

Range S: d' – e'' / A: a – a' / T: d – c' / B: A – g

Price code: B


This piece is part of the set "Three Helen B. Cruickshank songs".

The set also includes:

Sea buckthorn is a coastal shrub with bright orange berries – and also, in this song, a metaphor for something that flourishes even in adversity

This piece uses two groups of singers. Choir 1 sings the words, in a shifting meter that echoes the irregular rhythm of the waves. Choir 2 provides a wind-like drone and the ‘woosh’ of rain and salt spray battering the coast. It’s good to see a song inspired by Scottish weather!

Saut an' cruel winds tae shear it, [salt]
Nichts o' haar an' rain - [nights of cold mist]
Ye micht think the sallow buckthorn [might]
Ne'er a hairst could hain; [never a harvest could harbour]
But amang the sea-bleached branches [among]
Ashen-grey as pain,
Thornset orange berries cluster
Flamin', beauty-fain.

Daith an' dule will stab ye surely, [death and dolour / grief]
Be ye man or wife,
Mony trauchles an' mischances [many struggles / troubles]
In ilk weird are rife; [in everyone's fate]
Bide the storm ye canna hinder,[cannot]
Mindin' through the strife, [remembering]
Hoo the luntin' lowe o' beauty [how the blazing fire of beauty]
Lichts the grey o' life. [lights]

Helen B. Cruickshank (used with permission)


Card ImageScottish

Sea buckthorn

Michael Buck

SATB divisi

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