February – St Valentine’s Day 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.
In nature the flower of the month is of course the Primrose symbolizing virtue and modesty!