No More Kisses…Maybe




Take, o take those lips away
Amy Beach, Composer




Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn:
And those eyes, the break of day.
Lights that do mislead the morn!
But my kisses bring again, bring again,

Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain!


Mariana, in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is suggesting that Angelo take his lips away, since he used them to break promises, and to take his eyes as well, because they also lie.  She asks that he return her kisses to her – a double meaning, of course, in that it means, on the one hand, that she wishes she’d not kissed him in the first place and, on the other, that she’d like to kiss him again.


Amy Beach was an American composer and pianist.  She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. As a child prodigy, she was able to sing forty songs accurately by age one; by age two she could improvise a counter-melody to any melody her mother sang; she taught herself to read at age three, and began composing simple waltzes at age five. Her song is from a set entitled Three Shakespeare Songs.  “Mrs. Beach’s setting is extremely passionate and aches with unrequited love.” -Jill Anderson, Artistic Director
It Was a Lover and His Lass
Ward Swingle, Composer


“World-renowned American jazz vocalist and musician Ward Swingle, who founded The Swingle Singers in France, composed this piece.  The text is from As You Like It, a favorite of audiences and another play filled with mistaken identities and mismatched lovers.  A page sings the song to Touchstone, the clown and his intended bride, Audrey in Act 5.


“This setting comes to us from Elektra Women’s Choir in Vancouver, Canada.  There’s no mistaking that ‘Swingle Singers’ sound with the altos crooning ‘doon..doo..doon..doo..doo..doo’ under ‘with a hey and a ho and a hey nonny no’. This is the closing number for our program which will feature several Canzona soloists in a jazzy style that’s sure to please.”
-Cricket Handler, Artistic Director

Leave a Comment