SEA FEVER — John Ireland

John Ireland’s SEA FEVER is a popular piece from the 20th century in the key of E minor. The late John Masefield, a former Poet Laureate, wrote the lyrics, which Ireland beautifully set to music. Many thanks to Tony Lee for his wonderful performance. He describes the piano accompaniment as a very patient teacher who increasingly gets frustrated (I can see his point here…the chords become quite a fistful towards the end!). And finally, a huge thank you to @Graham Twist for suggesting that Tony sing this piece. Great choice, Graham! It really suits him.

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I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry tale from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.


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