Fourteen Songs by Rabindranath Tagore
By Rabindranath Tagore
Learned, translated and introduced at the Bard’s wish by Arthur Geddes.
Edited by Marion Geddes and Claire Geddes
‘Nothing gives me the same sense of attainment, of achievement, as the making of a song!’ said the great Bengali poet and song-writer, Rabindranath Tagore to Arthur Geddes early one morning in 1923. Having often heard Geddes play back his songs to him on the violin, Tagore asked Geddes to translate some of these songs from Bengali, so that the English words would fit the melodies. In a letter dated 18 February 1926, Tagore wrote to Arthur regarding translations of his songs into English, ‘Please write the accompaniment yourself. I can trust you.’ This book is thus a direct fulfilment of Tagore’s wish.
In the text that accompanies the songs, Arthur Geddes discusses the life and work of Tagore, the sources from which the poet took his inspiration, and the translator’s own efforts in trying not only to faithfully translate Tagore’s words but to convey the imagery, rhythms and verse forms of the originals.
The fourteen songs are presented in modern musical notation for singers and instrumentalists, divided into three sections:
Five songs from the song-drama ‘Raja’ (The King of the Dark Chamber)
Seven songs of prayer, resolution and mourning
Two songs of youth and Santiniketan
“What is remarkable about this volume is that the songs are not just authentic translations conveying the spirit of Tagore’s words, but are ‘singable’. This book will allow Tagore’s songs to transcend Indian borders and bring them to an international audience, reaffirming Tagore as an international poet and song-writer.” — Bashabi Fraser, poet and writer.
Binding: Paperback, 40 pages
Format: 284mm x 222mm
Imprint: Resurgence Books
Published: 5th May 2011
Now available for £5.00 (rrp £12.50)