Song #3 – O Dirce, Holy River

Here’s an mp3 of Song #3 (“O Dirce, Holy River”) sung and danced to by the Chorus–I think this is about what I can do right now for this song, so I hope it gives you a rough idea. The song is in two halves, each sung by a different group (in theory, half the chorus sings one, half the other–but we can also do this with singers on the side). The melodies are doubled by flute (1st half-chorus) and violin (2nd half-chorus). Percussion throughout; timing is 4/4 but sometimes less than regular. The lyrics are:
1st half-chorus (slow, lyrical, sad until the end, which is resolute):
O Dirce, holy river,
child of Achelous’ water!
yours the springs that welcomed once divinity,
the son of Zeus!
Zeus the father snatched his son
from deathless flame
(spoken): crying, ‘Dithyrambus, come! enter my male womb! I name you Bacchus, and to Thebes proclaim you by that name!
Now, O Dirce, blessed Dirce,
you banish me when to your banks I come,
crowned with ivy,
bringing revels–
Dirce, why am I rejected?
By the clustered grapes I swear,
by Dionysos’ wine,
some day you’ll come to know
the name of Bromius!
2nd half-chorus (faster, very rhythmic, angry):
With fury, with fury he rages
With fury, with fury he rages
Pentheus rages!
Spawned by the dragon,
whelped by Earth!
a giant in wildness raging,
storming, defying the children of heaven!
He has threatened me with bonds,
though my body is bound to god.
He cages my comrades with chains!
He has cast them in prison dark!
O Dionysos, do you see how in shackles we are held?
Descend from Olympus, lord!
Come, whirl your wand of gold
and quell with death this beast of blood!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *