I shall light a candle
performance time approx 3m 00s
words from a Bengali song and from the Apocrypha
music by Sheena Phillips
based on a traditional Bengali tune
for soprano, alto, tenor and bass chorus
The original tune The Way of Life, transcribed and arranged by Peter Gritton, is published by Faber Music Ltd, London, in Folksongs from India.
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This copy is not licensed for rehearsal, performance or recording.
Hear a performance
or a MIDI
rendering of I shall light a candle
This piece counterposes and interweaves two texts, one expressing uncertainty about how to live, the other offering a 'candle of understanding'. When the tenors come in with the line 'I shall light a candle', the upper parts crescendo and decrescendo to the word 'light' like a flickering candle flame; the decrescendo must be effective so as to let the tenor line through.
A light percussion ostinato may be added on the three main beats of each 7/8 bar.
full pronunciation guide included
I shall light a candle
Jahoori jahoor re chenei, katooriai kaat,
Rakhalia krishak a chenei fasholeri maat,
Sharno karei shona chenei kashurura kasha,
shati nari janei shudhu patir bhalobasha,
Aami konu kisu chinlam narei,
kulkinara pailam na pabashastra bujhlam na. Bengali song
I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart,
which shall not be put out. from the Apocrypha
Translation of the Bengali song
Jewellers, they know their jewels, woodcutters know their wood,
Farmers know their field of barley and their field of corn,
Goldsmiths know their golden bracelets, silversmiths their silver,
The good woman only knows the love of her husband..
But I have little understanding,
I don't know which way to go, I don't know the way of life. Translation by Canasg editors
Full pronunciation guide provided
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