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Article "Bedtime (1906)" by Dudley Buck

Image: The Five Little Pigs (1905), by Elizabeth Shippen Green, 1871-1954
The Five Little Pigs, 1905, by Elizabeth Shippen Green, 1871-1954. Magazine illustration. General Collections, Library of Congress. From a series by Elizabeth Shippen Green to illustrate "The Mistress of the House" in Harper's Monthly Magazine 111(August 1905), between pages [388-397]. LC call number: AP2.H3

from Five Three-Part Songs (1906)

"Bedtime" (1906) is the fifth of Five Three-Part Songs for women's or children's (the octavo specifies "boys'") voices with piano accompaniment. The text is by Burges Johnson, who published regularly in Harper's Magazine. The poem begins with the phrase, "Last year my bedtime was at eight, and ev'ry single night I used to wish the clock would wait, or else stay out of sight."

Buck's setting begins with eight chimes of the clock in the keyboard accompaniment, each chime labeled with a Roman numeral I through VIII. The mother scolds the child with a minor-mode admonition, "Why it's late! After eight! And it's time you were in bed." Buck uses the same chiming device before each succeeding verse of the strophic setting. In the coda, the chimes are sounded one more time, "sleepily dying away," but they extend the bedtime by a half hour, I-VIII (1/2).

About this Item


  • "Bedtime (1906)" by Dudley Buck


  • -  Buck, Dudley -- 1839-1909 -- -- composer
  • -  Choral music
  • -  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
  • -  Songs and Music
  • -  Parlor and Concert Stage
  • -  Articles


  • article

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