Five Early (and Often Naughty) Odes

Five Early (and Often Naughty) Odes
A Song Cycle for Bass-baritone and Piano

My Five Early (and Often Naughty) Odes is a short song cycle that began with My Love in Her Attire in 1978. The other four songs evolved over the following year and a fourth (Bishop Loreless) was added in 1981, with all being composed in Binghamton, NY. All the texts are anonymous and span the 14th to 17th centuries. The cycle is dedicated to the American bass-baritone, Edward Crafts.
Dan Locklair
Binghamton, NY
July 1981
Duration:
1. My Love in Her Attire = ca. 50″
2. All Night by the Rose = ca. 45″
3. Bishop Lorless = ca. 35″
4. The Silver Swan = ca. 2′
5. I Have A Gentle Cock = ca. 1′ 40″

Total Duration = ca. 7 minutes
1. My Love in Her Attire

My love in her attire doth show her wit,
It doth so well become her:
For every season she hath dressings fit,
For winter, spring, and summer.
No beauty she doth miss,
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty’s self she is,
When all her robes are gone.

(Davison’s Poetical Rhapsody, 1602)

2. All Night by the Rose

All night by the rose, rose­­­—
All night by the rose I lay;
Dared I not the rose steal,
And yet I bore the flower away.

(Anonymous, 14th century)

3. Bishop Loreless

Bishop loreless,
King redeless,
Young men reckless,
Old man witless,
Woman shameless—
I swear by heaven’s king,
Those be five lither thing!

(Anonymous, 14th century)

4. The Silver Swan

The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
“Farewell, all joys; Oh death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.”

(from Orlando Gibbons’s First Set of Madrigals and
Motets [1612])

5. I Have a Gentle Cock

I have a gentle cock
Croweth me day;
He doth me risen early
My matins for to say.

I have a gentle cock;
Comen he is of great;
His comb is of red coral,
His tail is of jet.

I have a gentle cock;
Comen he is of kind;
His comb is of red coral,
His tail is of inde.

His legges be of azure,
So gentle and so small;
His spurres are of silver white
Into the wortewale.

His eyen are of crystal,
Locked all in amber;
And every night he percheth him
In my lady’s chamber.

(Anonymous, 15th century)