Friday 24 July 2015

'Vivre et Mourir'

Sheet music for Vivre et Mourir.

Note: The title (Wish Now Was Then) with lyrics by Don Black
appear in the song sheet, but not in the actual film.
Probably the best musical score composed for a Tudor-themed film was for Mary Queen of Scots (1971).
The composer was the great John Barry. Among his other celebrated compositions were the soundtracks for The Lion in Winter, Born Free, and several James Bond movies.
One of the loveliest selections from Mary Queen of Scots is Vivre et Mourir. Sung by actress Vanessa Redgrave (in the opening and closing credits, and in a scene where she serenades the sick Lord Darnley), the lyrics are taken from the last six lines of a sonnet attributed to the historical Mary Stuart ('attributed' because the sonnet was found amongst the controversial 'Casket Letters', which may or may not, or were only partly written by Mary to the notorious Lord Bothwell).
The lines (written in 16th century French) set to Barry's music are as follow:
Vous conoistres avecques obeissance
De mon loyal deuoir n'omettant la science
A quoy i'estudiray pour tousiours vous compliare
Sans aymer rien que vous, soubs la suiection
De qui ie veux sens nulle fiction
Viure et mourir...
Translated as:
Someday you certainly will comprehend
How steadfast is my purpose, and how real
Which is to do you pleasure until death
Only to you, being subject: in which faith
I do indeed most fervently intend
To live and die...


(Sonnet taken from Letters and Poems By Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, modernized and translated by Clifford Bax, New York: Philosophical Library, 1947).
You can listen to the song below at the 1:10 time mark. Thanks to the person who posted this online.