The Last Rose of Summer

Today my youngest went back to school, so for the first time in months, it’s just the dog and me at home. Which means I’m looking forward to giving some more focused attention to songwriting and recording for the remaining weeks of #songaweek2018.

And it also means that for last week, week 35, in which only my son was home because his sister had already started at her school, I took the quick and easy route for my songwriting so I could spend more time with him. We played a lot of Doctor Who Fluxx and then on Friday we packed everybody up and drove out to North Dakota where we camped with family at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the badlands of NoDak, which is a long desolate drive from most anywhere people live but worth it. Beautiful and even on Labor Day weekend, not too crowded. (Also we witnessed a bison stampede while hiking, with wild horses just meters in front of us!)

But I digress. The quick and easy route for songwriting means I pick a public domain poem I’ve filed away for possible future use, and I write a tune for it. The title of this one by Thomas Moore made it the obvious choice! (If you follow the link on his name, you can hear a recording of another song made using the poem and recorded in 1914. Makes sense that I’m not the first to set it to music.)

Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone:
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie wither’ d,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

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