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Brontë

by Jeannette Lambert

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1.
A Windy Day 03:56
Lines Composed on a Windy Day by Anne Brontë My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring And carried aloft on the winds of the breeze; For above and around me the wild wind is roaring, Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas. The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing, The bare trees are tossing their branches on high; The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing, The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky. I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray; I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing, And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!
2.
Rememb'rance 05:00
Rememb'rance by Emily Brontë Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee, Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave! Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee, Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave? Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover Over the mountains, on that northern shore, Resting their wings where heath and fern leaves cover Thy noble heart forever, ever more? Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers, From those brown hills, have melted into spring; Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers After such years of change and suffering! Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee, While the world's tide is bearing me along; Other desires and other hopes beset me, Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong! No later light has lightened up my heaven, No second morn has ever shone for me; All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given, All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee. But, when the days of golden dreams had perished, And even Despair was powerless to destroy, Then did I learn how existence could be cherished, Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy. Then did I check the tears of useless passion— Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine; Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten Down to that tomb already more than mine. And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain; Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, How could I seek the empty world again?
3.
A Little While, A Little While by Emily Brontë A little while, a little while, The weary task is put away, And I can sing and I can smile, Alike, while I have holiday. Where wilt thou go, my harassed heart— What thought, what scene invites thee now What spot, or near or far apart, Has rest for thee, my weary brow? There is a spot, ’mid barren hills, Where winter howls, and driving rain; But, if the dreary tempest chills, There is a light that warms again. The house is old, the trees are bare, Moonless above bends twilight’s dome; But what on earth is half so dear— So longed for—as the hearth of home? The mute bird sitting on the stone, The dank moss dripping from the wall, The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o’ergrown, I love them—how I love them all! Still, as I mused, the naked room, The alien firelight died away; And from the midst of cheerless gloom, I passed to bright, unclouded day. A little and a lone green lane That opened on a common wide; A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain Of mountains circling every side. A heaven so clear, an earth so calm, So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air; And, deepening still the dream-like charm, Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere. That was the scene, I knew it well; I knew the turfy pathway’s sweep, That, winding o’er each billowy swell, Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep. Could I have lingered but an hour, It well had paid a week of toil; But Truth has banished Fancy’s power: Restraint and heavy task recoil. Even as I stood with raptured eye, Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear, My hour of rest had fleeted by, And back came labour, bondage, care.
4.
Spellbound 04:15
Spellbound by Emily Brontë The night is darkening round me, The wild winds coldly blow; But a tyrant spell has bound me And I cannot, cannot go. The giant trees are bending Their bare boughs weighed with snow. And the storm is fast descending, And yet I cannot go. Clouds beyond clouds above me, Wastes beyond wastes below; But nothing drear can move me; I will not, cannot go.
5.
My Lady's Grave by Emily Brontë The linnet in the rocky dells, The moor-lark in the air, The bee among the heather-bells That hide my lady fair: The wild deer browse above her breast; The wild birds raise their brood; And they, her smiles of love caressed, Have left their solitude! I ween, that when the grave’s dark wall Did first her form retain, They thought their hearts could ne’er recall The light of joy again. They thought the tide of grief would flow Unchecked through future years, But where is all their anguish now, And where are all their tears? Well, let them fight for Honour’s breath, Or Pleasure’s shade pursue – The Dweller in the land of Death Is changed and careless too. And if their eyes should watch and weep Till sorrow’s source were dry She would not, in her tranquil sleep, Return a single sigh! Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound, And murmur, summer streams – There is no need of other sound To soothe my Lady’s dreams.

about

A compilation of songs composed around the poetry of the Brontë sisters. From my blog: nette.ca/jeannette/2022/04/05/why-i-sing-bronte-poems/

When I finished reading every single book in the juvenile section of our local library as a kid, the librarian suggested I move along to romantic fiction. There I discovered the timeless novels of Emily Brontë, Jane Austen and so many more. Later I discovered the poems by Emily and her sisters and felt pulled into their world of sweeping drama and story. Perhaps it was also their tragic history, all those deaths by tuberculosis that resonated with me as my mother struggled with the same dangerous illness. Or the windswept landscapes that were so like my own rocky places in the wilderness in Northern Ontario.

As I started working with composing melodies as a teen, I pulled out some of them and began singing. There’s something so angst-ridden, evocative and wildly rhythmic that makes them easy to sing in any genre, and the words seem to contain melodies within them. And they lend themselves well to energetic free playing as I think to myself: what would Emily think of a punk version of her poems? And I wanted to sing songs that reflected the stories I loved as a girl, the female voices from my experience.

And so I’ve been singing them for decades now, in different contexts and you can find my versions of Brontë poems spread out over a series of recordings including Lone Jack Pine with Barre Phillips and Michel, also Michel’s Unclouded Day with Mat Maneri, Raoul Björkenheim and on my own release, Genius Loci Mixtape where the track with Greg originally appeared. I have compiled them and re-master a few and the Brontë will be released in May!

credits

released May 2, 2022

Jeannette Lambert, voice and Michel Lambert, drums plus

A Windy Day
Greg Burk, piano

Rememb'rance
Barre Phillips, bass

A Little While, A Little While
Spellbound and My Lady's Grave
Raoul Björkenheim, guitar
Mat Maneri, viola

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all rights reserved

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about

Jeannette Lambert Montreal, Québec

Living creatively through jazz and intuition guides my life as a jazz singer and composer. As a Dutch-Indonesian immigrant raised in Northern Ontario, free jazz, sound poetry, and dreamwork allows me the greatest creative expression. My latest project, Genius Loci North, is instantly composed with my trio, Reg Schwager on guitar, Michel Lambert on drums and percussion. I live in Montreal, Quebec. ... more

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