3 Romantic Part Songs (download)


Three romantic part songs in the Victorian tradition, these moody pieces are fun to sing and capture scenes of crashing waves, autumn fires and moonlight on the water.

Also available in print here.

Preview the score:

Listen to an informal performance by the Fondue Lack Singers:

Break, break, break (Tennyson)

Autumn Fires (R.L. Stevenson)

A lake and a fairy boat (Hood)


Three Romantic Part Songs

SATB quartet/chorus unaccompanied
Texts—Alfred Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hood
These romantic part songs may be sung chorally, or, in the Victorian tradition, by four singers around a table.
Duration: 6′
20 pages

  1. Break, break, break (Tennyson)
  2. Autumn Fires (R.L. Stevenson)
  3. A lake and a fairy boat (Hood)


Break, break, break

Break, break, break,
On thy cold grey stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman’s boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

–Alfred Tennyson (1850-1892)

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

–Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

A lake and a fairy boat

A lake and a fairy boat
To sail in the moonlight clear,—
And merrily we would float
From the dragons that watch us here!

Thy gown should be snow-white silk
And strings of orient pearls,
Like gossamers dipped in milk,
Should twine with thy raven curls!

Red rubies should deck thy hands,
And diamonds should be thy dower—
But fairies have broke their wands,
And wishing has lost its power!

–Thomas Hood (1789-1845)


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