This is the last of the four songs that I chose to sing from Aaron Copland’s “Old American Folk Songs”. The lyrics are sorrowful and speak of lost love, the love of someone very important to the writer. It reminded me of the lyrics of “Danny Boy”, having to come to terms with being parted from someone that has become the centre of your world.

The lyrics were originally attributed to George Pope in 1837 but may have been adapted from an earlier song by John Cole in 1833. The sympathetic and emotive melody along with the piano arrangement added by Aaron Copland make this a particular beautiful song to perform.

Long Time Ago

On the lake where droop’d the willow
Long time ago,

Lakeside Willow

Where the rock threw back the billow
Brighter than snow.
Dwelt a maid beloved and cherish’d
By high and low,

American Bride 1880’s

But with autumn leaf she perished
Long time ago.

Mid 1800’s Funeral Cortège

Rock and tree and flowing water
Long time ago,
Bird and bee and blossom taught her
Love’s spell to know.
While to my fond words she listen’d
Murmuring low,
Tenderly her blue eyes glisten’d
Long time ago.

Today I have been asked to sing the four Aaron Copland songs during the judging interval of the Bruce Millar Gulliver Singing Prize in Stevenson Hall at the RCS. My good friend Jessica Hurst will be performing four songs after me and then we are both to perform a duet, Rossini’s “The Cat’s Duet” it is such an amusing piece and makes me smile thinking about it.

Jessica Hurst And Me Back Stage Before Today’s Performance
George Todica Accompanied Me In My Performance Of The Four Aaron Copland Songs
Had Great Fun Performing Rossini’s “Cat Duet” With My Best Friend Jess Accompanied By Julia Lynch, Who Is One Of The Busiest Accompanists In The Country Who Has Performed With Many Distinguished Artists.

Now I am off out for a Pizza 🙂

41 thoughts on “Long Time Ago

  1. Most wonderful. I have to say that is has been forever for me since I have heard this but never before have I been so moved. Thank you Miss. Charlotte for caring to share and for having the bright and fresh voice that entreats the listener to require more!

    1. Thank you Annette for your lovely message, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. The recital seemed to work quite well together I had lovely feedback on Sunday.

      Best wishes

  2. Bon appétit mademoiselle! (for information, I can cook pizzas): -) ….. A beautiful interpretation, very romantic, you have a voice colored sunset summer sun. Thank you Charlotte. All the best for you.

  3. Very wonderful to see you with George, y’all make a wonderful couple. May the Lord continue to bless your career, and give God the glory every step of the way.

    1. I hadn’t sung it before and we had about a week to prepare which made it more exciting, I absolutely loved performing and singing it, we had a brilliant reception to it.

      Best wishes

  4. O NO Pizza , missed her ,dang-nap-it , love seeing your faces light up with fun cause tears can not heal a broken heart !! may you girls never know .xx

  5. Wonderful yet again, you are covering Copland so well ~ and yes, I can hear the resemblance with Danny Boy. Longing, sad and yet so beautiful.

    1. Sadly we didn’t get the opportunity to video it 🙂 We both enjoyed it so much I’m sure we’ll do it again. We’re trying to organise a fund raiser/charity event together.

      Best wishes

    1. It was great fun; one gentleman came up to us afterwards and asked if we were friends in real life, he was so pleased when we confirmed we were.

      Best wishes

  6. Very nice capture of the sweet, melancholy mood of this song. You might know (you mentioned Pete Seeger?) that folk music was very popular in the U.S. in the early 1960s, especially on college campuses. Your voice reminds me of one of the singers of that era, Joan Baez (whom I later saw in Detroit). If you haven’t heard her, you can find many of her songs on youtube. For an old English ballad, you might like “Geordie.” For 19th century Americana, you might try “Copper Kettle.” And if you prefer 20th century, Joan and Bob Dylan were an item for a while: try Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” I’m sure you would enjoy.

    And another Abraham Lincoln note. The legend is that young Abe Lincoln lost the love of his youth, Ann Rutledge, to illness in the 1830s. So, Abe may have listened to Long Time Ago with a tear in his eye.

    1. Thank you Tom for your message and for adding information to my post, very interesting to me. I will check out the ballads you recommended after the excitement of performing in the Dido and Aeneas opera this week.

      Best wishes

  7. Hi Nightingale!… Beautiful voice & song… I love the lyrics as well! :star: ~Sounds like finding the past, somehow!… Happy week ahead, Charlotte, Aquileana 😀

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