Loreena McKennitt - Prospero's speech

And now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own;
Which is most faint; now t'is true,
I must here be released by you,

Or sent to Napels. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bar island by your spell;

But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,

Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,

Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from your crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.


Loreena writes in the CD booklet about this song:

March 9, 1982 - Stratford ... have just begun rehearsals for the Stratford production of The Tempest ... I am singing the part of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, in the masque ... enchanted by the magic and function of masque as a conduit to the worlds of the gods and nature. The cast had an interesting discussion with a psychologist on the nature of Caliban and what qualified as "the civilized world" ...

April, 1993 - Stratford ... once again, I am drawn to Shakespeare for insights into the human condition ... Have not created the pice relative to "the masque", but rather chose Prospero's closing speech, which is delivered with the sense of the actor removing his mask as an artist ... the illusion has ended, and reality and god are left for us to determine for ourselves ...

Music by Loreena McKennitt
Lyrics by William Shakespeare, arr. and adapted by Loreena McKennitt
From: The mask and mirror (1994).

Live version: Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts (1995).

Note:

Comparing the lyrics in the CD booklet with the text of the Epilogue of "The Tempest" as printed in The complete works of William Shakespeare, by W.J. Craig, M.A. (Henry Pordes, London, 1984, page 24) shows that Loreena:
--
placed the word "And" at the very beginning of line 1;
--
replaced the word "confined" by "released" in line 4, which changes the meaning of the line (why did she do this?)
--
omitted lines 5 till 8, which are given above in italics.
Most of the punctuation at the end of the lines above is also from the book mentioned

 
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last modified: 25 May 2010