Talk:The long day closes (Arthur Sullivan)
When I first studied the song, I was too busy with the music to notice the lyrics properly. I remember wondering why the composer did make such a fuss about the last two ("dreamless bed") lines. What is so special about being sleepy? A closer examination however yields a quite grim song about a person's life that has by and by lost its spark. The dreamless sleep-giver is none but Death...
The lines I like the most are
- Sit by the silent hearth in calm endeavour
- to count the sound of mirth, now dumb forever
The music becomes lively at "sound of mirth", then turns off at "dumb", which our conductor wants us too sing with a very short vowel followed by a long "mmm" to illustrate the sound of mirth's disappearance (a practice that he normally vehemently disapproves of).
To do justice to the song, I tried to make a Dutch translation that matches the music (see article). I could not manage to salvage the "silent hearth", but at least I could match the "sounds of mirth/dumb" musical effect.