Winds and Clouds
Eliza Flower (1803–1846)

for solo voice and piano
performed by Jenny Miller (voice) & Frances M Lynch (piano)

The words of the song were written by Eliza’s sister

Sarah Flower Adams (1805-1848)
Poet & Singer

Tinted lithograph after Margaret Gillies, courtesy of Conway Hall Ethical Society

“Winds and Clouds”

A WIZARD is he!
D’ye see, d’ye see?
Temples arise in the upper air;
Now they are gone
And a troop comes on
Of plumed knights and ladies fair;
They pass – and a host of spirits grey
Are floating onward – away, away!

His sun-beams are light’ning,
The black clouds brightening,
Grand is the world in the heavens to see!
His winds are the thunder,
Scattering asunder
The world he has made – but what cares he?
In a chariot of storm he rolls along,
While the whirlwinds shout a triumphal song.

Blow, March, blow!
Your time is now;
Soon you must hush your noisy breath;
Soon we shall listen,
While rain-drops glisten,
To the airs that will murmur of Spring’s bright wreath;
Harm not the buds that dare to peep,
Lest April away her sweet life should weep.

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 flower of the month is the Daffodil
– the beginning of something newMarch – Winds & Clouds
 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.

raising the profile of music by women

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