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Bird Songs at Eventide

This lovely ballad by Eric Coates—with its gentle mood of introspection and longing—was written in 1926 . ‘Royden Barrie’, who wrote the words (and also the words to A brown bird singing) was in fact Rodney Richard Bennett, the father of Richard Rodney Bennett. Born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, Coates had over 130 published songs to his credit, most of them before he made an even deeper impression as the master of elegantly tuneful light orchestral music. Barrie inspired Coates to some of his most successful songs, as witness the easy melodic invention of this example. This song, too, enjoyed popularity in French translation. Coates was one of a generation of British light music composers, such as Edward German, Charles Williams, George Melachrino and Easthope Martin.  Coates is best remembered for The London Suite, The Dam busters March, and Sleepy Lagoon.

Most recordings of this song are solos. We sing an arrangement by Clarence Lucas.

Kathryn Rudge (watch pianist and feeling).

Hucknall Torkard Ensemble based in Nottingham

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