Morten Lauridsen’s “Sure On This Shining Night” Needs No Season

I stumbled across this piece a few months ago as I was researching my post on Morten Lauridsen and his love for Mary.

I think it’s part of his “Mid-Winter” song cycle (or at least it’s usually featured on a CD with his Mid-Winter song cycle), so it might not be exactly seasonally appropriate. But I love it, so here.

The song’s lyrics come from a poem written by James Agee, which also inspired a setting by Samuel Barber:

Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night
I weep for wonder wand’ring far alone
Of shadows on the stars.

Definitely Lauridsen-y, right? But that’s hardly a criticism (at least when coming from me).

As I re-read the words, it doesn’t seem particularly specific as to season, just as to time of day (and to the luminosity of the aformentioned time). It does say “late year,” but it also says “high summer.” So I’m going with “seasonally appropriate enough for posting.” …with an implied “because this is my blog and I’ll do what I want.”

Also-also, I’m in Wyoming, so saying that it’s not seasonally appropriate because Not Winter might actually jinx something. I’d better watch it. (It might be a nocturne, though, which would be safe, right?)

Attribution(s): Lauridsen photo courtesy of Getty Images, which allows the use of certain images "as long as the photo is not used for commercial purposes (meaning in an advertisement or in any way intended to sell a product, raise money, or promote or endorse something);" "Colorful Winter Skyline" provided by Nelly Volkovich via Unsplash and their Creative Commons Zero approach. Check 'em out; they're awesome.