What If a Day, a Month, or a Year

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by burnabyguitar, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. burnabyguitar


    Oct 17, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Washington, USA
    What If a Day, a Month, or a Year
    Composer: Anonymous (16th century)

    What if a Day, or a Month, or a Year was originally composed for the lute. It is an English Renaissance song. Authorship of this song is attributed to Thomas Campion.

    Thomas Campion (sometimes Campian; 12 February 1567 – 1 March 1620) was born in London, educated at Cambridge, studied law in Gray's inn. He was an English composer, poet, and physician. He wrote over a hundred lute songs, masques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music.

    The song What if a Day was pubished in Richard Alison's An Howres Recreation in Musicke in 1606. It is also found in A. Gil's Logonomia anglica, first published in London in 1619.
    The song's lyrics tell about the fleeting and impermanent nature of the human condition and urge us to make the most of our time in this world.

    Lyrics - What If a Day
    by Thomas Campion

    What if a day, or a month, or a year
    Crown thy desire with a thousand sweet contentings;
    Cannot the chance of a night or an hour
    Cross thy delight with as many sad tormentings?
    Fortune, honour, beauty, youth,
    Are but blossoms dying;
    Wanton pleasures, doting love,
    Are but shadows flying.
    All our joys
    Are but toys,
    Idle thoughts deceiving.
    None have power
    Of an hour
    In their lives' bereaving.

    Earth's but a point to the world; and a man
    Is but a point to the earth's comparid centre.
    Shall then a point in a point be so vain
    As to triumph in a silly point's adventure?
    All is hazard that we have,
    Here is no abiding;
    Days of pleasure are but streams
    Through fair meadows gliding.
    Weal or woe,
    Time doth go,
    In time 's no returning.
    Secret fates
    Guide our states
    Both in mirth and mourning.

    This piece is selected as one of RCM (The Royal Conservatory of Music) grade 1 repertoire.

    Time Signature: 4/4
    Tempo: 84-96 BPM

    burnabyguitar, Feb 3, 2022
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