Article " Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh

Format Web Pages
Subjects Article
Articles
Burleigh, H. T. (Harry Thacker)
Parlor and Concert Stage
Progressive Era to New Era
Songs and Music
Traditional and Ethnic Songs and Music
Worship and Praise
Title
" Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh
Subject Headings
-  Burleigh, H. T. (Harry Thacker), 1866-1949
-  Worship and Praise
-  Songs and Music
-  Parlor and Concert Stage
-  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
-  Traditional and Ethnic Songs and Music
-  Articles
Genre
article
Other Formats
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200185376/mets.xml


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Weepin' Mary, 1917, by Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949.
Weepin' Mary, 1917. Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M1671.W

Burleigh's brief setting of Weepin' Mary was published in 1917 in versions for solo voice and women's chorus by G. Ricordi & Co., New York. The women's chorus version was arranged by Nathaniel Clifford Page (1866-1956). Only thirty-one measures in length, the setting is a quiet, introspective piece in AAB form. The text is a commentary on a biblical passage: "But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher" (John 20:11).

Burleigh's setting is austere in its unvaried, quarter-note/half-note rhythm. His harmonic inventiveness is, therefore, all the more telling against such a simple backdrop. After setting the first phrase in diatonic triads in F minor, he repeats that phrase with subtle chromaticisms and one bold progression on "Call upon your Jesus, an' He'll draw near." On the word "Jesus," Burleigh moves from an F-minor chord directly to a G-flat-augmented chord to create a powerful, expressive dissonance.