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I Cannot Sing the Old Songs

by Hundred Years Late

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about

This project aims to encourage engagement with and discussion around music archives. The idea is to get modern musicians to record covers of archived material from a hundred years ago.

This song will be discussed in a blog post here… hundredyearslate.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/creation-vs-destruction/

I've recorded this relatively straight piano/vocal version, and also a radical reinterpratation using minor chords and heavy distortion.

Musicians, this project invites you to dig into the archives. There are gems waiting to be rediscovered and reinterpreted by you, using your own peculiar gifts and sensibilities. Post the songs on your own Bandcamp (or YouTube, or Soundcloud) and retain control of it. I'll embed it on Hundred Years Late and highlight your valiant efforts. You can deliver your fans something new and fresh by reinterpreting something old and forgotten. It's interesting. And it's fun.

Let's make music. Let's make history.
hundredyearslate.wordpress.com
twitter.com/HYL_music

lyrics

I cannot sing the old songs
I sang long years ago
For heart and voice would fail me
and foolish tears would flow
For bygone hours come o'er my heart
with each familiar strain
I cannot sing the old songs
or dream those dreams again
I cannot sing the old songs
or dream those dreams again


I cannot sing the old songs
Their charm is sad and deep
Their melodies would waken
old sorrows from their sleep
And though all unforgotten still
and sadly sweet they be
I cannot sing the old songs
They are too dear to me
I cannot sing the old songs
They are too dear to me


I cannot sing the old songs
for visions come again
of golden dreams departed
and years of weary pain
Perhaps when earthly fetters shall
have set my spirit free
My voice may know the old songs
for all eternity
My voice may know the old songs
for all eternity

credits

released March 25, 2014
Music and lyrics by 'Claribel' AKA Charlotte Alington Barnard (1830-1869)

Archived versions from 1905 (Richard José) and 1914 (Louise Homer) are available on loc.gov/jukebox This song is discussed in greater detail at hundredyearslate.wordpress.com

Performed and recorded by David Nelligan

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Hundred Years Late Ireland

Hundred Years Late is a music archive revival project. The aim is to encourage engagement with music archives, specifically the music of a hundred years ago, by inviting modern musicians to reinterpret archived songs. Follow the blog at hundredyearslate.com ... more

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