Birthday Celebration: Ethel Smyth
The March of the Women by Ethel Smyth (arr. Lynch)
(click the blue button above to listen)
“The March of the Women” was composed by Ethel Smyth in 1910 (First performed in 1911) to words by Cicely Hamilton. It was the official anthem of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). This arrangement, written and performed by Frances M Lynch was originally created for an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in 2015 and adapted for 4 female voices in 2019 for a Stroud Green Festival Performance celebrating local women in STEAMM.
“Shout, shout, up with your song!
Cry with the wind for the dawn is breaking.
March, march, swing you along,
Wide blows our banner and hope is waking.
Song with its story, dreams with their glory,
Lo! They call and glad is their word.
Loud and louder it swells
Thunder of freedom, the voice of the Lord.
Shout, shout, shout
Long, long, we in the past,
Cower’d in dread from the light of Heaven;
Strong, strong, stand we at last;
Fearless in faith and with sight new given.
Strength with its beauty, life with its duty
Hear the voice, oh, hear and obey.
These, these beckon us on,
Open your eyes to the blaze of day! Shout, shout, shout
Comrades, ye who have dared,
First in the battle to strive and sorrow;
Scorned, spurned, naught have ye cared,
Raising your eyes to a wider morrow,
Ways that are weary, days that are dreary,
Toil and pain by faith ye have borne.
Hail, hail, victors ye stand,
Wearing the wreath that the brave have worn!
Shout, shout, up with your song! Shout, shout, shout”
Ethel Smyth DBE (1858-1944) is one of England’s most important composers who led a tumultuous life, fighting for her own musical education, women’s rights and for her music to be heard in a man’s world. She was a conductor, author, suffragette, and during WW1, a radiographer, but it is her work as a composer we wish to celebrate today. You can find out more about her on https://britishmusiccollection.org.uk/composer/ethel-smyth and much of her music can be heard on youtube or soundcloud.
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Created by electric voice theatre, Minerva Scientifica is a project that brings together professional performers with community musicians and school children. Together, we raise awareness of the rich heritage and deep connections between music and science, and inspire the next generation of future scientists.