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Songs

The Chimney-Sweeper

by Benjamin Britten From Songs and Proverbs of William Blake (1965) Op. 74

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Text

The Chimney-Sweeper
English source: William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying ’weep ’weep in notes of woe!
Where are thy father and mother? say?
They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smil’d among the winter’s snow
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King
Who make up a heaven of our misery.

Composer

Benjamin Britten

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music,…

Poet

William Blake

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic…

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