A Song For Anything

(1892)

"A Song For Anything" is the 89th song in Ives's song collection 114 Songs. The song is also part of Ives's song set Sentimental Ballads.

Ives has written the following note about "A Song For Anything":

"The song above is a common illustration (and not the only one in this book) of how inferior music is inclined to follow inferior words and "vice-versa." The music was originally written to the sacred words printed last, (and the est of the three.) Some thirty years ago it was sung in a country church and even as a response after the prayer. The congregation not only tolerated it, but accepted it apparently with satisfaction. That music of this character is less frequently heard in religious services now-a-days is one of the signs of the wholesome progress of music in this country. An "Amen" was tacked on to the end of this song; a relative of the composer remarked, at the time, that it was about as appropriate to this kind of a tune as a benediction would be after an exhibition of the 'Circassian Beauty' at the 'Danbury Fair.'"

A Song for Anything
by Charles Ives


When the waves softly sigh,
When the sunbeams die;
When the night shadows fall,
Evening bells call,
Margarita! Margarita!
I think of thee!
While the silver moon is gleaming,
Of thee, I'm dreaming.


Yale, Farewell! we must part,
But in mind and heart,
We shall ever hold thee near,
Be life gay or drear.
Alma Mater! Alma Mater!
We will think of thee!
May the strength thou gavest
Ever be shown in ways, fair to see.


O have mercy Lord, on me,
Thou art ever kind,
O, let me oppress'd with guilt,
Thy mercy find.
The joy Thy favor gives,
Let me regain,
Thy free spirit's firm support
My fainting soul sustain.


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