Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day link

Let's see, what would be a nice link for Valentine's Day? How about Samuel Barber's "The Coolin'"?

Here is a version by the University Choir at the University of Boulder, CO.

Here is a version by the 2002 New Mexico MMEA All State Mixed Chorus.

(I couldn't find a version of this online with really great sound quality.)

The poem is by James Stephens (1880-1950).

The Coolin*

Come with me, under my coat,
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
or wine if it be thy will.
And we will talk,
until talk is a trouble, too,
out on the side of the hill;
And nothing is left to do,
but an eye to look into an eye,
and a hand in a hand to slip;
and a sigh to answer a sigh;
And a lip to find out a lip!
What if the night be black!
And the air on the mountain chill!
Where all but the fern is still!
Stay with me, under my coat!
and we will drink our fill
of the milk of the white goat,
out on the side of the hill!

*"The Coolin" is a love song. The word coolin or cooleen refers to a little, very special curl that used to grow exactly in the middle of the back of the neck of a girl. That term, "little curl" or "cooleen" [related to the more common "colleen"?] came to mean one's sweetheart, and practically ousted the word "sweetheart". This info from someone quoting James Stephens on the internetz.


  1. Good choice--such a pretty piece.

  2. Thank you for those lyrics, Allegra. I'm very much drawn to the lyrics of our songs and the poetry. Thank you also for the little lexical byline; there's often so much depth in poetry.

    Owen Sharpe
    New Zealand

  3. Oh, how I love that piece. I agree - an original choice for Valentine's.