Douglas Lee Saum | Youth and Age

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Youth and Age

by Douglas Lee Saum

This is a musical/poetic accounting of the life-long relationship between W B Yeats and Maud Gonne. It is also the story of every love and every life as it passes from youth to age. Twenty musicians, singers, speakers, and artists contributed.
Genre: Folk: Celtic Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Brown Penny
2:50 $0.99
2. Father and Child
1:02 $0.99
3. First Love
2:22 $0.99
4. A Drinking Song
0:39 $0.99
5. Before the World was Made
1:43 $0.99
6. Human Dignity
0:58 $0.99
7. His Dream
2:50 $0.99
8. A First Confession
2:37 $0.99
9. The Mermaid
1:08 $0.99
10. Peace
2:50 $0.99
11. Her Triumph
1:46 $0.99
12. The Death of the Hare
1:52 $0.99
13. The Mask
2:05 $0.99
14. Consolation
2:18 $0.99
15. The Empty Cup
2:07 $0.99
16. The Coming of Wisdom with Time
1:05 $0.99
17. Chosen
1:32 $0.99
18. His Memories
3:25 $0.99
19. The Choice
3:30 $0.99
20. Parting
2:03 $0.99
21. The Friends of his Youth
2:11 $0.99
22. These are the Clouds
2:34 $0.99
23. Her Vision in the Wood
2:36 $0.99
24. Summer and Spring
2:06 $0.99
25. The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner (reprise)
2:15 $0.99
26. A Last Confession
3:37 $0.99
27. The Secrets of the Old
2:42 $0.99
28. Cuchulain Comforted
2:59 $0.99
29. Meeting
3:17 $0.99
30. His Wildness
1:22 $0.99
31. Youth and Age
0:41 $0.99
32. From the Antigone
2:51 $0.99
33. From Oedipus at Colonus
3:18 $0.99
34. Transit
2:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A Note to the Listener

W B Yeats’s sometime soul-mate, comrade, muse, lover (though briefly) and “troubling of my life” was Maud Gonne. Their relationship has inspired much interest in popular and literary circles. In a sense this collection of songs documents, celebrates, examines, and laments this relationship just as WBY did when he produced his poetic accounting of their time together: the eleven poem cycles A Man Young and Old (1928,1933) and its companion A Woman Young and Old (1933). These poetic cycles, being arranged chronologically, embody the idealism of youth too soon dashed into the realism of adulthood, eventually giving way to the fatalism of old age. In making these songs, my hope is that these lyrics will inform the understanding of the aging process for each listener. All good poetry is good partly because it finds the universal within the particular.

This album, five years in the making, embodies a magical format of eleven three-song cycles which reflect a general , a female, and a male perspective, respectively, to create a thirty-three song poetic story. The thirty-fourth piece is "the time out of time" as described in W B Yeats's A Vision: Book Three The Soul in Judgment. This creates a cycle of life, lessons learned, and rebirth which WBY advocated in his personal mythological system. There are nods to Aldous Huxley and James Joyce, as well. Doug Saum 2010

“Youth and Age”
A new CD from Douglas Lee Saum
( MP3: 9.99

“Eleven turns around the wheel,
Eleven rounds for good and ill,
The dark to feel, the light to see,
Then one or two for what shall be”

Much has been written about William Butler Yeats’ love for Maud Gonne, his soul-mate (he called her the “troubling of my life”). Now Doug Saum, a long-time Yeats scholar from Nevada, has written music to 33 of WBY’s poems. They cover all of the poet’s time on earth, along with his romantic sufferings. You’ll hear pipes, drums, strings and voices, from twenty talented musicians and artists.

From the foot-tapping “Brown Penny” (“I am looped in the loops of her hair”) to “Oedipus at Colossus” (“I celebrate the silent kiss that ends short life or long”)--this latest CD gives it all: from the sultry smoky sounds reminiscent of Jamal’s jazz to memories of those jiggling, laughing and teasing entertainments of your Celtic ancestors.

Doug Saum doubles our pleasure by providing a playlist-- my 16-year old grandson really appreciated this, and followed along with every word.

So if you love poetry and Irish tunes that range from animated to angelic, this one’s for you.

For Doug Saum, not only the pipes, but the uilleanns and the bodhrans are calling. ‘Tis we’ll be here to enjoy your next outstanding offering.

Barbara Sullivan Mangogna for St. Louis Post 2010

Last month I agreed to comment on Doug’s latest CD “Youth and Age” for the Yeats Discussion List.

Let me tell you all, I love this CD.

It is a sensitive, loving interpretation of 33 of Yeats’ poems, full of care and intelligence, set to music which ranges from the foot tapping to the poignant.

There was a delight for this Yeats-lover to hear the melodious poems set to melodious tunes. I have no credentials to remark on the arrangements (I hope one of you has), except to say that I take pleasure in the range and use of instruments – mandolin, flute, clarinet, harp, violin, drums, etc as well as guitars, and the strong, sweet voices of the singers (including Doug’s). And there is our Declan at the beginning reciting “Men dance on deathless feet” and on track 26. As well, there are the many echoes of American music (I am Australian!!), such as Bob Dylan, Civil War airs. Wonderful.

However, I do have some knowledge of the verses. Yeats’ love poems, as we are all so well aware, throb with ambiguities and Doug’s music has been true to these.

What he has accomplished is to blend the 11 poems of the song cycle “A woman Young and Old” (1933) with the 11 poems of the song cycle “A Man Young and Old” (1928, 1933) and with 11 poems selected from “The Green Helmet”, “The Tower”, “The Winding Stair”, “The Rose” and “Final Poems”. It is a pleasing pattern. You will note the bundles of three, with the second and third song of each bundle taken from each song cycle - and the first from another book.

You may then see even more how the poems relate to each other, the connections between them, how man and woman transform each other, how Yeats reinforces his theme that to follow love is a very crooked road. I was inspired to revisit the poems.

It seems Doug’s labour of love reaches back 14 years. Admirable. I can’t wait to hear his version of “Supernatural Songs” in the future.

Ros Mackay 2010



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