Inauguration Ball

"Inauguration Ball" is the fourth song of Rorem's War Scenes cycle, which sets five texts of Walt Whitman relating to his experiences of the Civil War.

Date: 1971Composer: Ned RoremText: Walt WhitmanSong Collection: War Scenes

Print vitals & song text


Inauguration Ball
by Walt Whitman

At the dance and supper room, I could not help thinking
what a different scene they presented to my view a while since.
Filled with a crowded mess of the worst wounded of the war
Tonight beautiful women, perfumes, the violin’s sweetness,
the polka and the waltz.
There the amputation, the blue face, the groan
The glassy eye of the dying, the clouted rag, the odor of blood
And many a mother’s son amid strangers passing away untended there.

Sheet Music

War Scenes

Composer(s): Ned Rorem

Song(s): 1. A Night Battle
2. A Specimen Case
3. An Incident
4. Inauguration Ball
5. The Real War Will Never Get in the Books

Voice Type: Medium

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