Song of Snow-White Heads

"Song of Snow-White Heads" is the tenth song of Ernst Bacon's song cycle Quiet Airs. The song sets an English translation the poetry of Cho Wēn-chün, translated by Arthur Waley.

Date: 1952Composer: Ernst BaconSong Collection: Quiet Airs

Print vitals & song text


Song of Snow-White Heads
by Cho Wēn-chün
Translated by Arthur Waley

(A Chinese wife to her lord)

Our love was pure
As the snow on the mountains:
White as a moon
Between the clouds –
They’re telling me
Your thoughts are double:
That’s why I’ve come
To break it off.
To-day we’ll drink
A cup of wine.
to-morrow we’ll part
Beside the Canal:
Walking about,
Beside the Canal,
Where its branches divide
East and West.
Alas and alas,
and again alas.
So must a girl
Cry when she’s married,
if she find not a man
Of single heart,
who will not heave her
Till her hair is white.

Sheet Music

Quiet Airs

Composer(s): Ernst Bacon

Song(s): 1. Twilight
2. Gentle Greeting
3. The Divine Ship
4. Of Love
5. Eden
6. The Little Stone
7. Fond Affection
8. Stars
9. The Heart
10. Song of Snow-White Heads
11. The Lamb
12. To Musique, To Becalme His Fever

Buy via Classical Vocal Reprints

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.