5 The Phantom Queen 3'03"

Where is the Queen? Why does she not visit me?
Esther, O my heart's ease.
Have they chained you too, my darling, in a stable?
Do they starve you, strike you, scorn you, ape your howls?
They say some other woman is your wife,
but the Queen's name is Esther, Esther.
Fall on my eyes, O bride like a starless night.

6 The Counterfeit 2'57"

I am nervous, I am not ill but I am nervous.
If you would know what is the matter with me I am nervous.
But I love you both very well; if you would tell me the truth.
I love Dr Heberden best; for he has not told me a lie.
Sir George has told me a lie; a white lie, he says,
but I hate a white lie!
If you tell me a lie, let it be a black lie!

7 Country Dance 3'28"

Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people
with singing and with dancing
with milk and with apples.
The landlord at the Three Tuns
makes the best purl in Windsor.
Sin! Sin! Sin!
black vice, intolerable vileness
in lanes, by ricks, at Courts. It is night on the world,
Even I your King has contemplated evil.

I shall rule with a rod of iron, confort ye my people

8 The Review 3"32'

My people, I come before you in mourning, on my
breast, a star.
The King is dead.
A good-hearted gentleman, a humble servant of God.
a loving husband, an affectionate sire.
Poor fellow, he went mad.
He talked to the trees, attacked his eldest son.
disowned his wife, to make a ghost his Queen -
a ghost his Queen.
So they seized him, whipped him
starved him, jeered in his face,
while he talked he talked he talked he talked:
they could not shave him, his mouth was never still.
Sometimes he howled like a dog !
And he veiled the mirrors not see himself pass by,
for his eyes had turned into blackcurrant jelly.
Poor fellow, I weep for him.
He will die howling.
howling, howling.....

Total 30'49"

1 The Sentry 7'04"

Good day to your Honesty.

God guard who guards the gate.

Here is the key of the kingdom.
You are a pretty fellow:
next month I shall give you a cabbage.
Undo the door!
Who has stolen my key?
Ach! my kingdom is snakes and dancing,
my kingdom is locks and slithering. Make room!
Pity me, pity me, pity me. Child,
child whose son are you?

2 The Country Walk 3'32"

Dear land of sheep and cabbages.
Dear land of oaks, beeches and strangling ivy,
green snakes of ivy.
God guard trees.
Is the world like a chained man's bruise
I think of God. God also is a King.

3 The Lady-in-Waithing 2'55"

Madam let us talk, let us talk.
Madam I mean no harm.
Only to remember, to remember
what it was that through silk,
lace, linen and brocade,
swooped on my needle. To remember.
Madam, let us talk, talk, talk, talk.
I mean no harm, no harm, no harm, no.......

4 To be sung on the Water 4'43"

Sweet Thames, sweet Thames,
far, have I followed thee,
God guard my people.
Sweet Thames flow, soft.
Burdened by my people.
(deliver me from my people they are within.)
to Eden garden, unto Eden garden
in Hanover, Bermuda or New South Wales.
Sweet Thames, flow soft. Evacuate my people.
I am weary of this fate. I am alone.

Text of "Eight Songs for a Mad King

















































Programme Note

Index page of "Eight Songs for a Mad King"