Tears and Smiles”
Eliza Flower (1803–1846)

for solo soprano and piano
performed by
Inna Husieva (soprano)
Frances M Lynch (piano)

Inna Husieva – Soprano

We are thrilled that London-based Ukrainian soprano, Inna Husieva, was able to record this song for us during an Easter visit to Kyiv in 2023.

Hailed from Donetsk, Inna lost her parents three years ago and her home in Donetsk, which has been occupied since 2014 by Russia. Having survived the shelling of her house in Donetsk, she has worked since 2014 to raise awareness of the war in Ukraine and help to raise funds for its victims. Inna has toured in the USA, Canada and Germany with the fundraising concerts as well as Great Britain.

She is an Emerging Artist at Scottish National Opera for the 2023-2024 season.

The words of the song were almost certainly written by

A sepia pencil drawing of a young man with curly hair wearing a very flouncy gown over his shirt and tie - he is seated so we don't see his feetCharles Reece Pemberton (1790-1840)
Actor, Author and Lecturer

Image by Engraver Charles Edward Wagstaff, after Octavius Oakley (Wikipedia Public Domain)

Tears and Smiles”

Her cheek is pale, her eyes are wet,
Her voice in murmurings,
Grieves lowly to the morn that yet
No sunshine brings.
Why linger ye, O laughing hours?
Uncurl ye buds, unfurl ye flowers!
Sad April sings.

The paleness fleets, the tears are dry,
Her voice with gladness rings;
The sunshine over earth and sky
Its brightness flings.
Come, revel through my laughing hours
Ye warbling birds, ye buds and flowers!
Glad April sings.

Sepia drawing of the head of the composer surrounded by flowers

Eliza Flower (1803 – 1846)

Tinted lithograph of a drawing by Mrs E Bridell Fox, 1898/99 courtesy of Conway Hall Ethical Society

In nature the flowers of this month are sweet peas symbolizing purity and innocenceA picture very close up of pink and white sweet pea flowers in bloom

April – Tears and Smiles” is from “Songs of the Months” published by A J Novello in December 1834. The title page describes the volume as A Musical Garland and addresses us as………

……………………………Children of the year,
We move in swift tho’ never wearying march,
Each richly gifted with a precious dower
Of differing beauty. Listen as we pass
Marking our pace by Music.

The composer of each of the 12 songs is Eliza Flower, who set poetry provided by her close knit circle of literary friends, mainly women, including her sister Sarah Flower Adams. The result is an eclectic mix of songs which vere from romantic to dramatic harmony and from simple beauty to lively humour.
The short editorial introduction explains that each song appeared throughout 1834 in the Monthly Repository – a publication associated with South Place Chapel where Flower’s life and work was based.

They are collected as a musical garland for the hoary head of Time, a welcome for his comings, a benediction on his goings, and a march to quicken his steps when the road is thorny and toilsome.

It is hoped that, should they become familiar in the social circle, while ‘voices keep tune,’ hearts will not lose time, but sustain this perennial chaunt of affection, enoyment and hope, which prolongs the ‘good wishes of the season,’ from happy new year to a merry Christmas.

the electric voice theatre logo - just the words on some spikes of colour