O That I Had Ne'er Been Married

Poet:  Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Source:  12 Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Contralto Voice

Date of Composition:  1922

Publication:  Faber Music Limited; © 1985 (post.) [Home Songs 21 Kirkley Cliff Rd. Lowestoft]

Voice Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Subject:  Warning to young men about marriage

Range:  D3 – G4

Tessitura:  B3 – D4

Tempo:  Dreamily; 6/8

Duration:  01:20

Vocal Characteristics:  Lilting vocal line; many repetitive notes; two sustained G4s; rubato throughout; textually driven rhythm; one measure mixed meter; Scottish dialect

Piano Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Accompaniment Characteristics:  Arpeggiated, guitar-like accompaniment in treble clef; simple octaves in bass clef; rubato throughout

Additional Comments:  In this original version, the ending finishes in mm. 24, and only contains the text “they come been” once; Britten Thematic Catalog http://www.brittenproject.org/works/BTC41

© Nicholas Perna and Mandy Spivak 2013