VOCAL DUETS 

Scarborough Fair

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment

arr. Peter Rose. PDF Download

Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. "Scarborough Fair" was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th.

The ballad (the lyrics of which probably have their roots in the 17th Century Scottish ballad 'The Elfin Knight') relates the tale of a young man who instructs the listener to tell his former love to perform for him a series of impossible tasks such as making him a shirt without a seam and then washing it in a dry well, adding that if she completes these tasks he will take her back. Often the song is sung as a duet, with the woman then giving her lover a series of equally impossible tasks, promising to give him his seamless shirt once he has finished.

In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues: parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage.

Baloo Baleerie

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment

arr. Peter Rose. PDF Download

Baloo Baleerie is a Scottish song (Baloo is the Scots word for lullaby), possibly originating from the Shetland island of Bressay and dating back as far as the 11th or 12th Century. The fairies of Scottish folklore are malevolent creatures; they would steal an untended human baby and replace it with one of their own children. Mothers would thus be ever fearful of the harm fairies could inflict upon their children.

 

In the first verse the fairies are told to leave, while the second verse invites the guardian angels to come down and protect the baby. In the third verse, the mother gently encourages her child to sleep softly. Like many songs of the time, the lullaby mixes the Christian (protection provided by the angels) with the pagan (the fairies).

The World Is Green  (in preparation)

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment. PDF Download

by Peter Rose & Anne Conlon (from Song of Creation © Josef Weinberger Ltd, London. ) 

The caterpillar muses about the possibility of a better life. The butterfly  assures the caterpillar that there's a brighter-coloured life top look forward to: "Soon you will be flying high, You will spread your wings and sip from beautiful flowers. You will find freedom in a rich and colourful garden beyond this green."

But  the caterpillar is not able to share the butterfly's belief:  

"I know the world is green, I know the leaves my eyes have seen.

I can't share your belief in a life beyond the leaf. I know the world is green."

The World is Green

Fruits of the Earth (in preparation)

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment. PDF Download

by Peter Rose & Anne Conlon (from Song of Creation © Josef Weinberger Ltd, London. ) 

The parallel worlds of the weary labourer in the fields of a faraway country and the busy shopper in the local supermarket. In the fields, the labourer "bends beneath the weight the foreman wields" but in her heart she knows that the daily grind is feeding her family. The woman in the supermarket, "dazed by the choice in the food display and drained by the endless push and shove" also knows in her heart that the daily grind is feeding her family. 

"Fruits of the earth, gift of the rising sun,

Born of the wind, the moving air.

Fruits of the earth, gift of the falling rain,

Born  of the land, the food we share."

Fruits of the Earth

Cousin Dolphin (in preparation)

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment. PDF Download

by Peter Rose & Anne Conlon (from Ocean World © Josef Weinberger Ltd, London. ) 

The mother humpback whale, accompanied by its calf, meets the dolphin who bemoans the loss of its friends in the "nets of the sea". The whale comforts the dolphin.

"Don't waste your precious life in sadness and regret...

You must move with care and choose your way, as you journey across the sea."

Sailing Alone 

Duet / 2 part Choir with piano accompaniment. PDF Download

by Peter Rose & Anne Conlon (from Arabica © Josef Weinberger Ltd, London. ) 

Do people really believe they've no responsibilty to each other? Do they think they journey alone? This duet questions  whether we are safe inside our own  secret worlds, whether we have really found our dearest dreams? And in hours of need, who will hear us when we call?

The character Arabica tells us:

"You need to share the sunshine; you need to share the rain;

You need to share the beauty, the heartbreak, the pain."

Sailing Alone
Cousin Dolphin