Friday, May 10, 2013

Through the Lens of Mortality

As my two years as a Master's student comes to an end, I am excited to present my Master's Vocal Recital Thursday, May 16, 2013, with my collaborative pianist, Michelle Lee.  During the recital I will be presenting a video featuring my photography (both time-lapse, and fine-art landscapes). I will have a reception with light refreshments afterwards.  The cost is free, but I am happy to accept donations in cash, check, or credit card.

Please help me save money and paper-waste by either printing these Program Notes and Translations ahead of time, or viewing them on your mobile device at the recital:
Please Applaud Only Between Sets
A Note from Nathan:
The collection of songs in this recital very much serves as a commentary on the experience of life and death.  The title “Through the Lens of Mortality” is inspired from a line in the final song of Vier Ernste Gesänge, by Brahms, “Wir sehen jetzt durch einen Spiegel in einem dunkle Worte, dann aber von Angesicht zu Angesichte. (For now we see through a glass dark words, but then face to face.)” -1 Corinthians 13:12
As a photographer, I experience (through a glass) the notion of “face to face” with the divine—a sense of taking part in the act of creation—a notion that, as I’ve learned in my study of artists through the ages, is not uncommon.  I chose each of the composers and/or subjects based on their tenacious individuality, dedication to ideals, and magnitude of spirit.  The still and time-lapse photos presented with this recital are all the original work of Nathan Van Arsdale.
The program opens with a set from Beethoven, Poulenc, and Schubert: first a chiding request from a deceased person for the living to be grateful for what they have in life, and let sleeping spirits rest; followed by a call for people to be more Christ-like, banishing spiritual darkness and demons; and ending with a grateful celebration of the beauty of nature.
The second set, Vier ernste Gesänge (Four serious songs), drawing from biblical texts, questions the purpose of life and the unknown nature of death.  A very emotionally complex and mature set, this song-cycle works through the cycle of acceptance (anger;denial;depression;bargaining;acceptance), arriving at the conclusion that “Nothing, I AM, without Love.”
The second half of the program opens with Chansons de Don Quichotte, a first person account of life and death through the eyes of Don Quixote.  The title character decides to live life according to his ideals of chivalry: bravery, honor, and love; despite the rest of the world viewing reality quite differently from him.  Death, for Don Quixote, is not and end or defeat… it is transcendence from mortality.
Finally, Charles Ives provides musical commentary on the nature of life.  Each piece reflects a bit of Ives’ personality with a twinge of brazen pontification, and innocent, somewhat arrogant individualism.  Were Ives alive today, he would likely encourage people to pursue their desires with the gusto of Charlie Rutlage chasing after cattle: fearlessly, relentlessly, and unto death.
Feel free to photograph, record, and distribute this recital on the internet.  But please,
NO SOUNDS (shutters, beeping, or other) and NO FLASH!!!

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
After gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist while studying under Joseph Haydn in Vienna, Beethoven began to lose his hearing around 1800, and was almost totally deaf for the last decade of his life.  An advocate of Napoleon and his revolutionary ideas of liberty and equality, Beethoven composed the symphony, Bonaparte, in tribute to the general—using unprecedented broad strokes of sound, sturm und drang (storm and drive), to explore the realm of the unconscious, and convey the more complex emotions of what it meant (to Beethoven) to be alive.  This composition, later renamed Eroica (due to his disgust over Napoleon’s self-coronation), marks the beginning of Beethoven’s middle period, and is considered one of the most important works of the age.  Composed shortly after Eroica (1806-7), In questa tomba oscura, by Italian poet, Guiseppe Carpani (friend of Beethoven, Haydn, Salieri, and Rossini), is written from the standpoint of someone who has recently died.  Unable to take possessions beyond the grave, the spectre exhorts his ungrateful family for quibbling over the decease’s estate. The frustration expressed in the text—an admonishing “ingrata”—mirrors Beethoven’s frustration over living in a tomb of silence, surrounded by people who take their gift of hearing for granted. 

In Questa Tomba Oscura
In questa tomba oscura
Lasciami riposar;
Quando vivevo, ingrata,
Dovevi a me pensar.

Lascia che l'ombre ignude
Godansi pace almen
E non, e non bagnar mie ceneri
D'inutile velen.
In this dark tomb

In this Dark Tomb
let me rest;
you should have thought of me
when I was alive, you ingrate.

At least leave naked spectres
to enjoy their peace
And do not bathe their ashes
with futile venom.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
A French composer of over 150 mélodies, credited by Virgil Thompson as being, “incontestably the greatest writer of mélodies in our time.” Poulenc was dedicated to the poetry he chose for his songs, stating, “I believe that one must translate into music not merely the literary meaning of the words, but also everything that is written between the lines, if one is not to betray the poetry. Each, poetry and music, should evoke the other.”  Hymne, is a poem translated by Jean Racine (1639-1699) from the Roman Breviary.  Hymne is a statement of rebirth from a dark world into the light of the love of God, a plea for enlightenment for those dwelling in the shadow of death, and a pledge to always glorify God—to have Heaven on Earth.

Sombre nuit, aveugles ténèbres,
Fuyez; le jour s'approche et l'Olympe blanchit;
Et vous, démons, rentrez dans vos prisons funébres:
De votre empire affreux un Dieu nous affranchit.

Le soleil perce l'ombre obscure;
Et les traits éclatants qu'il lance dans les airs,
Rompant le voile épais qui couvrait la nature,
Redonnent la couleur et l'âme á l'univers.

Ô Christ, notre unique lumière,
Nous ne reconnaissons que tes saintes clartés,
Notre esprit t'est soumis; entends notre prière,
Et sous ton divin joug range nos volontés.

Souvent notre âme criminelle
Sur sa fausse vertu téméraire s'endort;
Hâte-toi d'éclairer, ô lumière éternelle,
Des malheureux assis dans l'ombre de la mort.

Gloire à toi, Trinité profonde,
Père, Fils, Esprit saint: qu'on t'adore toujours,
Tant que l'astre des temps éclairera le monde,
Et quand les siècles même auront fini leur cours.

Dark night, blind darkness,
Flee, the day is approaching and Olympus whitens;
And you, demons, get into your gloomy prisons
From your dreadful empire, God frees us.

The sun breaks through the dark shadow;
And brilliant arrows launch into the air,
Breaking the thick veil that covered the nature,
Restoring color and soul to the beloved universe.

O Christ, our only light,
We acknowledge your holy radiance,
Our minds will be submitted; hear our prayer,
And beneath your divine yoke, subject our will.

Often our criminal soul
Under false courage, reckless sleeps;
Haste to enlighten, O eternal light,
The wretched ones crouching in the shadow of death.

Glory to you, profound Trinity
Father, Son and Holy Spirit: we ever adore you,
As long as the sun illuminates the world
And even when centuries have finished their course.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Despite living a relatively short life, Franz Schubert composed nearly 600 Lieder, in addition to symphonies, liturgical music, and chamber music.  Although widely performed today, and championed by composers such as Brahms, Liszt, Schumann, and Mendelssohn, Schubert, like many artists, was rather unappreciated during his life.  He was a thinking artist with an appetite for experimentation and a penchant for painting the poetry—a “cutting edge” composer who, like Mozart’s youthful sense of humor, composed with a youthful sense of wonder.  Antonín Dvořák says of Schubert, “…to Schubert belongs the chief credit of epoch with the lied…all other songwriters have followed in his footsteps.”  Im Freien (1826) is a poem written in the Austrian dialect by Austrian archaeologist, poet, storyteller, and dramatist Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804-1875), whose poetry was often set by Schubert.  Im Freien is a piano impromptu that conveys the idea of communing with nature.  The piano and vocal lines move in parallel motion through much of the song, communicating a sense of “being of a like mind”—the octaves throughout the piece seem to be a tonal analogue for the perfect tuning of souls, an effect used by Brahms years later in Wir wandelten.  Graham Johnson perfectly describes the genius with which Schubert paints the scene of this poem:
“The accompaniment reflects not only 'the moon-flecked river ripples and the glistening willow leaves' (Capell) but also 'an abundant fullness of heart' (Einstein). The piano writing swells and surges at certain moments, and at others is as sensitive to the tiniest inflection of ever-changing mood as a silver bromide photographic plate. It is quite extraordinary how at the beginnings of Verses 4, 5 and 6 (each beginning with the narrator's finger pointing at something new in a different direction) the composer uses changes of harmony to vary camera shot and angle as we zoom in on a new detail in the panorama. The final verse as it returns to the home key of E flat seems to gather up the energy of the preceding seven verses ('Drum auch winkt's'—'That is why and how I've been drawn back here'). At the very end, the sounds of true love (those beguiling sixths make a final appearance) seem to make the poet re-focus his gaze from the distance and turn to someone much nearer, the only ornamentation in the vocal line being a tender turn at the last moment. He seems to realize that this picture of nature has become even more beautiful and meaningful because of the tender empathy he has found by his side.”-notes from the Hyperion Schubert Edition.

Im Freien 
Draußen in der weiten Nacht
Steh ich wieder nun,
Ihre helle Sternenpracht
Laßt mein Herz nicht ruhn!

Tausend Arme winken mir
Süß begehrend zu,
Tausend Stimmen rufen hier,
Gruß dich, Trauter, du!

O ich weiß auch, was mich zieht,
Weiß auch, was mich ruft,
Was wie Freundes Gruß und Lied
Locket durch die Luft.

Siehst du dort das Hüttchen stehn,
Drauf der Mondschein ruht?
Durch die blanken Scheiben sehn
Augen, die mir gut!

Siehst du dort das Haus am Bach,
Das der Mond bescheint?
Unter seinem trauten Dach
Schläft mein liebster Freund.

Siehst du jenen Baum der voll
Silberflocken flimmt?
O wie oft mein Busen schwoll
Froher dort gestimmt!

Jedes Plätzchen, das mir winkt
Ist ein lieber Platz,
Und wohin ein Strahl nur sinkt,
Lockt ein teurer Schatz.

Drum auch winkt mir's überall
So begehrend hier,
Drum auch ruft es, wie der Schall
Trauter Liebe mir.

In the Open

Outside in the vast night
Stand I once more,
Its bright, starry splendour
Lets my heart not rest!

A thousand arms beckon to me
Sweetly appealing
A thousand voices call here:
'Greetings, to you, dear, you!'

Oh, I know what draws me,
What calls to me,
Like a friend's greeting and song
Floating enticingly through the air

Do you see there the cottage
On which the moonlight is lingering?
From its sparkling windows gaze out
Eyes, pleasing to me.

Do you see the house there by the brook,
Lit by the moon?
Beneath its homey roof
My dearest friend sleeps.

Do you see that tree,
Glittering with flakes of silver?
Oh, how often did my heart
Swell there with joy!

Every little place that beckons
Is a dear place,
And wherever a single star falls,
Attracts a dear sweetheart.

So beckons to me everything here
So appealing here
Therefore also calls it, how the voice
Tender, “Love me”

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Both a traditionalist and innovator, Johannes Brahms’ music, while rooted in the techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, created bold new approaches to harmony and melody, advancing the Romantic idiom.  Close friends with Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms became very attached to Clara, with whom he also performed extensively.  Brahms became the intercessor between Robert and Clara after Robert was confined to a sanatorium until his death.  After Robert Schumann’s death, Brahms rented the apartment above the Schumann’s house, and sacrificed his career and art for Clara’s sake.  If Clara and Johannes were lovers is unknown, but they destroyed their letters to each other, suggesting more than merely a desire for privacy.  Vier ernste Gesänge is a cycle of four songs dedicated to Max Klinger (a German sculptor and engraver), with texts taken from the Bible (the first three from the Old Testament, and the last one—focused on faith, hope, and charity—from the New Testament).  Clara Schumann suffered a stroke on March 26, 1896, and Brahms completed this, his last set of songs, two months later in anticipation of her death.

Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh
Denn es gehet dem Menschen wie dem Vieh;
wie dies stirbt, so stirbt er auch;
und haben alle einerlei Odem;
und der Mensch hat nichts mehr denn das Vieh:
denn es ist alles eitel.
Es fährt alles an einem Ort;
es ist alles von Staub gemacht,
und wird wieder zu Staub.
Wer weiß, ob der Geist des Menschen
aufwärts fahre,
und der Odem des Viehes unterwärts unter
die Erde fahre?

Darum sahe ich, daß nichts bessers ist,
denn  daß der Mensch fröhlich sei in seiner Arbeit,
denn das  ist sein Teil.
Denn wer will ihn dahin  bringen,
daß er sehe, was nach ihm geschehen wird?

Ecclesiastes, 3:19-22
Because there goeth a man like the cattle;
as the one dieth, so dieth the other;
they have all one breath;
and man has nothing more than the beasts:
for all is vanity.
All go unto one place;
it's all made ​​of dust,
and all turn to dust.
Who knows if the spirit of man
goeth upward,
and the spirit of the beast rides downward under the Earth?

So I saw that there is nothing better,
because that man should rejoice in his work,
for that is his portion.
For who shall bring him to,
that he may see what will happen after him?

Ich wandte mich und sahe an
Ich wandte mich und sahe an
Alle, die Unrecht leiden unter der Sonne;
Und siehe, da waren Tränen derer,
Die Unrecht litten und hatten keinen Tröster;
Und die ihnen Unrecht täten, waren zu mächtig,
Daß sie keinen Tröster haben konnten.
Da lobte ich die Toten,
Die schon gestorben waren
Mehr als die Lebendigen,
Die noch das Leben hatten;
Und der noch nicht ist, ist besser, als alle beide,
Und des Bösen nicht inne wird,
Das unter der Sonne geschieht.

Ecclesiastes, 4:1-3
I turned and saw to
All who suffer injustice under the sun;
And behold, the tears of,
The wrong and they had no comforter;
Would do them wrong and there was power,
That they had no comforter.
Wherefore I praised the dead,
Which are already dead,
More than the living,
Which are yet alive;
And is not, is better than both of them,
And evil will not stop,
That which is done under the sun.

O Tod, wie bitter bist du
O Tod, wie bitter bist du,
Wenn an dich gedenket ein Mensch,
Der gute Tage und genug hat
Und ohne Sorge lebet;
Und dem es wohl geht in allen Dingen
Und noch wohl essen mag!
O Tod, wie bitter bist du.

O Tod, wie wohl tust du dem Dürftigen,
Der da schwach und alt ist,
Der in allen Sorgen steckt,
Und nichts Bessers zu hoffen,
Noch zu erwarten hat!
O Tod, wie wohl tust du!

Sirach, 41:1-4
Oh Death, how bitter are you
When a person thinks of you:
The good days and has enough
And lives without care;
And it probably is in all things
And probably like to eat!
O death, how bitter are you

O death, how well you are doing to the needy,
Who is weak and old,
The plugged in all the worries,
And hope nothing better,
To expect yet!
O death, how well you're doing!

Wenn ich mit Menschen, und mit Engelzungen 
Wenn ich mit Menschen - und mit Engelzungen redete
und hätte der Liebe nicht,
so wäre ich ein tönend Erz oder eine klingende Schelle.
Und wenn ich weissagen könnte und wüßte alle Geheimnisse
und alle Erkenntnis und hätte allen Glauben,
also daß ich Berge versetzte,
und hätte der Liebe nicht, so wäre ich nichts.
Und wenn ich alle meine Habe den Armen gäbe
und ließe meinen Leib brennen
und hätte der Liebe nicht,
so wäre mir's nichts nütze.

Wir sehen jetzt durch einen Spiegel
in einem dunklen Worte,
dann aber von Angesicht zu Angesichte.
Jetzt erkenne ich's stückweise;
dann aber werde ich erkennen,
gleichwie ich erkannt bin.
Nun aber bleibt Glaube, Hoffnung, Liebe, diese drei;
aber die Liebe ist die größeste unter ihnen.

1 Corinthians 13:1–3,12–13
If I with people - and spoke with the tongues of angels
and had not the love,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries
and all knowledge, and though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and would not have love, I am nothing.
And if I give all I possess to the poor
and my body to be burned,
and had not the love,
so I gain nothing.

For now we see through a glass,
in dark words,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part;
but then shall I know,
also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)
The top prize-winner of the Prix de Rome with his first attempt, despite the disruption of serving in WWI, Jacques Ibert was a successful composer who began study at the Paris Conservatoire in 1910, and later ran both the Paris Opera and the Opéra-Comique.  His compositional style is described as eclectic, as he did not ascribe to any particular musical fashion or school, stating that, “all systems are valid.”  Ibert composed in numerous forms, including opera, ballet, piano, orchestral, and film.  His film credits include Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1948), Circus (Gene Kelly, 1952), and numerous French films.  The producers of Don Quichotte (starring famous operatic bass, Feodor Chaliapin) separately approached five composers to write songs for the film (Jacques Ibert, Maurice Ravel-a friend of Ibert’s-, Marcel Delannoy, Manuel de Falla, and Darius Milhaud.  Each composer believed they were the only person asked to compose music for the film, but Ibert’s was the music chosen for the film.  The film was produced in French, English, and German, with Chaliapin starring in all three versions.  
The character Don Quichotte, derived from the classic novel Don Quixote (v.1-1605 & v2-1615) by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), has read so many chivalric novels, that he chooses to see the world in a way where reality is what he makes of it.  In the course of their travels, the protagonists meet innkeepers, prostitutes, goatherds, soldiers, priests, escaped convicts, and scorned lovers. These encounters are magnified by Don Quixote’s imagination into chivalrous quests. Don Quixote’s tendency to intervene violently in matters which do not concern him, and his habit of not paying his debts, result in many privations, injuries, and humiliations (with Sancho often getting the worst of it).

Chanson du Départ de Don Quichotte
Ce château neuf, ce nouvel édifice
Tout enrichi de marbre et de porphyre
Qu'amour bâtit château de son empire
où tout le ciel a mis son artifice,
Est un rempart, un fort contre le vice,
Où la vertueuse maîtresse se retire, 
Que l'oeil regarde et que l'esprit admire
Forçant les coeurs à lui faire service.

C'est un château, fait de telle sorte
Que nul ne peut approcher de la porte
Si des grands rois il n'a sauvé sa race
Victorieux, vaillant et amoureux.
Nul chevalier tant soit aventureux
Sans être tel ne peut gagner la place.

Song of Departure of Don Quixote
This new castle, this new building,
enriched with marble and porphyry,
where love built a castle for his empire
and all of heaven added their skills,
 a rampart, a fortress against vice,
is whose virtuous mistress hides herself away,
that the eye beholds and the spirit admires,
forcing hearts to her service.

It is a castle, made in such a way
that none may approach its door
unless he has saved his people from the Great Kings,
victorious, valiant and loving.
No knight, no matter how adventurous,
can enter without being such a person.

Chanson à Dulcinée
Un an me dure la journée
Si je ne vois ma Dulcinée.
Mais, Amour a peint son visage,
Afin d’adoucir ma langueur,
Dans la fontaine et le nuage,
Dans chaque aurore et chaque fleur.

Un an me dure la journée
Si je ne vois ma Dulcinée.
Toujours proche et toujours loin taine,
Etoile de me longs chemins.
Le vent m’apporte son haleine
Quand il passé sur les jasmins.

Song to Dulcinée
A year lasts me the day
If I see my Dulcinea.
But Love has painted her face,
To soften my languor
In the fountain and the cloud,
In each dawn and each flower.

A year lasts me the day
If I see my Dulcinea.
Always close and still far away,
Star of my long wanderings.
The wind carries her breath
When it passes through jasmine.

Chanson du Duc                                              
Je veux chanter ici la Dame de mes songes
Qui m’exalte au dessus de ce siècle de boue
Son Coeur de diamant est vierge de mensonges
La rose s’obscurcit au regard de sa joue

Pour Elle, j’ai tenté les hautes aventures
Mon bras a délivré la princesse en servage
J’ai vaincu l’Enchanteurs, confondu les parjures
Et ployé l’univers à lui render l’homage

Dame par qui je vais, seul dessus cette terre,
Qui ne soit prisonier de la fausse apparence
Je soutiens contre tout Chevalier téméraire
Votre éclat non pareil et votre précellence.

Song of the Duke
I want to sing before the Lady of my dreams
That excites me over this century of mud
In her diamond heart a virgin lies
The pink darkens under her cheek

For her, I tried the high adventures
My arm delivered the princess from bondage
I have overcome the Enchanter, confused perjurers
And bent the universe to render her the homage

Lady by whom I'm only on this earth,
Who is prisoner of the false appearance
I argue against any rash Knight
Your brilliance and your unparalleled preeminence.

Chanson de la Mort de Don Quichotte
Ne pleure pas Sancho ne pleure pas, mon bon
Ton maître n’est pas mort il n’est pas loin de toi
Il vit dans une ile heureuse ou tout est pur Et sans mensonges
Dan l’ile enfin trouvée où tu viendras un jour
Dans l’ile désirée O mon ami Sancho

Les livres sont brulés Et font un tas de cendres
Si tous les livres m’ont tué il suffit d’un pour que je vive
Fantôme dans la vie, et réel dans la mort
Tel est l’étrange sort du pauvre Don Quichotte.

Song of the Death of Don Quixote
Don’t cry Sancho, do not cry, my dear
Your master is not dead, he is not far from you
He lives in a happy island where everything is pure and without lies
On the island where you at last will one day come
In the desired island, O my friend Sancho

The books are burned and make a pile of ashes
If all the books have killed me just one that I may live
Ghost in life and in death real
Such is the strange fate of poor Don Quixote.

Charles Ives (1874-1954)
Spiritualist, optimist, idealist, individualist, innovator, and fiercely democratic, Charles Ives stands out among composers, and yet, is considered one of the most representative of American artists.  His father, George Ives, was a band-leader who would often experiment with music (there is record of him starting two bands marching from opposite ends of town towards the center while playing different songs).  Charles to respected the power of vernacular music from early on, which shows in many of his compositions that borrow from folk and hymn tunes.  He composed over 140 songs, but because he was independently wealthy as an insurance salesman, he didn’t care if they didn’t get published, or if people liked them, and many of them remained in manuscript form or as sketches for years after his death.  Ives was a free thinker with a love for transcendentalism and sense of humor (often setting texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Whittier, Oliver Holmes, and Walt Whitman).  His musical style developed from the French and German school into something entirely American.  After WWI, Ives lost faith in the progress of humanity—a change that is noticeable in his later works.  Despite being very eccentric, Ives was a musical genius, capable of creating highly organized, yet unique musical ideas.  The Cage is Ives’ shortest, and most enigmatic song.  The musical pattern in the prelude (repeated “two or three times”) sets the stage for a pacing leopard.  Although there are no meter markings, The Cage is tightly constructed: the vocal line (text by Ives) consists of whole-tone scale segments, and the piano chords are stacked on perfect fourths (like the even spacing of cage bars).  The song ends with one last staccato eighth note in question, “Is life anything like that?”  Tarrant Moss is a text by Rudyard Kipling, but because Ives couldn’t get the rights to use the text for his composition, he used the same music under his own text in Slugging a Vampire, with only slight variations.  However, the character in each song is the same voice—the voice of a somewhat arrogant tough guy protagonist.  Charlie Rutlage had been called “the greatest country-and-western number never to be performed at the Grand Ole Opry.”  The text, a description of a cowhand who gets trampled during a roundup, comes from a 1920 printing of Cowboy Songs by John A. Lomax. 

The Cage
A leopard went around his cage
From one side back to the other side
He stopped only when the keeper came around with meat.
 A boy who had been there three hours began to wonder,
“Is life anything like that?”

 Tarrant Moss
I closed and drew for my love’s sake
That now is false to me
And I slew the reaver of Tarrant Moss
And set Dumeny free.

And ever they give me praise and gold,
And ever I mourn my loss.
For I struck the blow for my false love’s sake,
And not for the men of the Moss.

Slugging a Vampire
I closed and drew, but not a gun—
The refuge of the weak—
I swung on the left and I swung on the right
Then I landed on his beak.

He started to pull all the same ole stuff
But I closed in hard and I called his bluff
And his face is still a stickin’ in the yellow sheet
And on the billboard a’ down the street

 Charlie Rutlage
Another good cowpuncher has gone to meet his fate,
I hope he’ll find a resting place, within the golden gate,
The golden gate.

Another place is vacant on the ranch of the XIT,
‘Twill be hard to find another that’s liked as well as he.
The first that died was Kid White, a man both tough and brave.

While Charlie Rutlage makes the third to be sent to his grave
Caused by a cowhorse falling, while running after stock;
‘Twas on the spring round up, a place where death men mock,
He went forward one morning on a circle through the hills,
He was gay and full of glee, and free from earthly ills;
But when it came to finish up the work on which he went,
Nothing came back from him; his time on Earth was spent.
‘Twas as he rode the round up, an XIT turned back to the herd;
Poor Charlie shoved him in again, his cutting horse he spurred;
Another turned; at that moment his horse the creature spied and turned and fell with him,
Beneath poor Charlie died,

His relations in Texas his face never more will see,
But I hope he’ll meet his loved ones beyond in eternity,
In eternity,

I hope he’ll meet his parents, will meet them face to face
And that they’ll grasp him by the right hand at the shining throne
The shining throne, the shining throne of grace.

Huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Tod Fitzpatrick, Michelle Lee, Professor David B. Weiller,
Dr. Alfonse Anderson, Dr. Alice Corkill, Marshall Townsend, Haik Goomroyan, Sandra De Borger,
Steve McGuire (UNLV Reprographics), Debra Weite, Fred Morledge, Erin Ciesielski, James and Nelly Leavitt,
and Olivia Sirota. 
This would have not been possible without your patience, guidance, inspiration, love, and support!

Fine Art Prints can be purchased at
Hair styling by Debra Weite (
This performance is being professionally recorded by Fred Morledge (

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