• Love’s Promise
  • Rhapsody
  • Many Waters
  • Faint with Love
  • Love’s Echo
  • Song of Songs

  • Duration: 22 minutes
  • Soloist(s): Soprano
  • Chorus: SATB or SSAA
  • Instrumentation: String orchestra and harp OR String quintet and harp
  • Published by: Novello & Co

The collection of love poetry which forms the Old Testament’s Song of Songs has always presented a conundrum to scholars.  The orthodox understanding of its presence in the Canon of Scripture was the widespread use in the Prophets of the concept of God as the husband of Israel.  For the Christian mystical tradition, the dialogue between the lover and the beloved gave voice to the relationship of the soul to Christ.  Bernard of Clairvaux preached over fifty sermons on them!  Jesus called himself ‘the Bridegroom’ giving authority to this reading.  Some have seen Mary the Mother of Jesus in the references to the ‘room where my mother conceived me’.

The relationship of romantic and erotic love to spirituality is the subject of these songs.  They express desire, hope, confusion and joy; the whole range of emotions experienced by the lover – but there is no final consummation.  The metaphors of vine, wine, garden and fountain are ones that prefigure the language of Christian spirituality.  They provide Christian spirituality with a language of love that is both sensual and spiritual, of earth and of heaven.  The text for these songs is faithful to the text of the Bible but poetic licence has provided a narrative structure and the development of some metaphors.  The cry of the lover to the beloved, the heightening of the senses through sumptuous smells and tastes, and the imagery of fire provide a rich basis for a certain type of music – music born out of our time, yes, but which also draws upon the timelessness of tonality, consonance and balance.

Soprano, SATB, Strings & Harp:

Orchestral parts available on hire
Email: hire@musicsales.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1284 705705

Purchase Sheet Music

Soprano, SSAA, Strings & Harp:

Orchestral parts available on hire
Email: hire@musicsales.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1284 705705

Purchase Sheet Music

Soprano, SATB, String Quintet & Harp:
(Vocal Score & Parts)

Purchase Sheet Music

I. Love’s Promise

Come my beloved
where the vine has budded:
there will I give my love;
let us stir up,
let us rouse up
‘til it please.
Feed me raisins,
feed me apples;
O my heart –
Come feast on love.

II. Rhapsody

See him coming
my beloved;
see him coming
drawing near.
Snows are melting,
winter’s dying,
spring is dawning
drowning fear.
The rain has gone,
new flowers appear;
the sound of turtle doves is heard.
In my garden,
Taste the fragrance
of the sweetest myrrh.

III. Many Waters

As a seal
on your heart;
set me there
upon your heart:
Passion cruel as the grave,
as fierce as any flame.

Love is strong,
strong as death.
Many waters
quench not

IV. Faint With Love

Faint with love,
My heart, faint with love –
so faint.
I am falling,
for your

Faint with love,
My heart, faint with love –
so faint.
In your shadow
feed me
sweetest fruit.

My love is so fair,
Raven black his hair;
eyes like doves beside a deep pool
shining with a deep desire.
Kiss me love,
taste my wine;
Drinking deep –
Let us sleep.

Faint with love,
My heart, faint with love –
so faint.
With your
tender eyes
revive and
comfort me.

He is my desire,
pure as fiercest fire;
His strong arms like cedar boughs
will shield me and will never leave me;
O my love
taste my wine;
Drink your fill –
Lie soft and still.

V. Rhapsody

Greeting my fair one,
waiting and listening,
as the door opened
no one was there.
I sought him, called him,
but could not find him,
searching, seeking, lost in fear.

He has a garden
sweet with rich blossom,
keeping his flocks
where wild lilies grow.
There I will find him.
There I will kiss him.
Tasting apples
soft with myrrh.

Waken O south wind,
stir up his garden,
rouse up the scent
of lilies that grow.
Darling embrace me,
call me your fair one,
make me pillows
soft with pine.

VI. Many Waters

Gleaming, shining,
golden starlight.
Rising, burning,
silver moonlight.
Warming, glowing,
streaming sunlight.
Sing my heart
the song of songs!

Dance heavens!
Dance starlight!
Dance sunlight!
Dance moonlight!
To the highest song of songs.

Maria Regina!
Christus Est!

Who is this
Who come like the dawn?
Who scatters the darkness and heralds the morn?

Maria Regina!
Christus Est!

Words: adapted by Andrew Hawes (1954 –   ) from the Song of Solomon