O My Dear Heart

  • Composer: Eleanor Daley 
  • Canadian Composition: Yes
  • Duration: 2:25
  • Sample Track:

Conductor Notes:

Written for a cappella four part treble choir, Daley uses the tender, beautiful Olde English words of James, John and Robert Wedderburn :O my dear heart, young Jesu sweet, prepare they cradle in my spreit”. Making liberal use of suspensions, excellent voice leading, and well-crafted, beautifully shaped phrases, Daley manages to meld tune and words into a seamless combination where one seems not to be able to exist without the other. Each of the two verses, both in dorian mode, are followed with haunting “Balulalows” which float in and out of the dorian reference. Tuning can be problematical mainly because of the relative F major and inherent problems we all seem to encounter when working in that key. O My Dear Heart is an excellent teaching tool for any treble choir; it encourages astute listening while allowing the singers to engage fully in sensitive, expressive singing. (Note by Diane Loomer)

References:

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Text:

O my dear heart, Young Jesu sweet,
Prepare thy cradle in my spreit,
And I shall rock thee in my heart,
And nevermore from thee depart.
Balulalow.

But I shall praise thee evermore,
With songes sweet unto thy gloir.
The knees of my heart shall I bow,
And sing that right Balulalow.
Balulalow.