On Saturday evening at High Cross Church in Camberley Surrey Heath Choral Society in its Summer Concert offered a varied programme of songs by Parry, Clucas, and J.S Bach. All were thoroughly enjoyable, as was the Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals piano duet by Andrew Phillips and Geoffrey Tuson.
The songs by Sir Hubert Hastings Parry are very English, and have a Elgaresque feel to them. The programme notes included Humphrey Clucas’s description and words of his Songs of Farewell, including the song Wine and Roses. The text of which is from a poem by Ernest Dowson (1867-1900). His poem is the source of the phrase – ‘the days of wine and roses’. Here’s the text of the poem,
Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longham
(The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long – Horace)
They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.