America's Going to the Dickens! (1995)
I. Congressmen (1:30)
II. Transcendentalists (1:50)
III. Ingenuity (00:20)
duration ca. 3:40
medium voice and piano
poetry by Peter Stambler
(after Charles Dickens)
Wheels. Despicable tricksters at elections;
Underhanded tamperers of public officials;
Shameful trucksters to mercenary knaves;
Dishonest Faction, depraved and unblushing;
All stared out from every corner of the crowded hall.
Out of the rottenness of lectures and cant,
A Boston sect of philosophers has bloomed.
On inquiring what transcendental might signify,
I was given to understand
That whatever was unintelligible
Would certainly be transcendental.
If I were a Bostonian,
I do believe I would join.
Ten-pins is a game of mingled chance and skill
Invented when the Legislature passed an act
"Congressmen", "Transcendentalists" and "Ingenuity" from Witnesses: A Guided Tour to 19th Centruy America by Peter Stambler, are used with permission. Copyright (c) 1983 by Jump River Press, Inc.
America's Going to the Dickens! was premiered by Emily Eagen, soprano, with Eric Stellrecht, piano on August 13, 1995 at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Michigan, Illinois.