Elgar: The Shepherd’s Song

Elgar: The Shepherd’s Song

A new piano accompaniment from YOURACCOMPANIST landing today is The Shepherd’s Song by Edward Elgar.

Edward Elgar’s “The Shepherd’s Song” is a beautiful piece of music that captures the essence of nature and rural life. The song was written in 1892 by Barry Pain, a renowned poet and writer, and was later set to music by Elgar in 1895. The lyrics of the song express the longings and desires of a shepherd, a symbol of nature and pastoral life.

The poem “Down the Dusty Road Together” is about a shepherd singing to his beloved about the joys of summer. As he herds the sheep homeward, he describes their sluggishness from eating too much grass and sleeping in the sun. However, despite their laziness, the shepherd finds joy in the season. He sings of his love for the sea and the refreshing feeling of swimming in the cool, starlit waters. He also admires the beauty of the bright red poppies growing on the hillside. The shepherd then reflects on the approaching end of the day and the road leading to his home. He ends his song by asking his beloved to answer him in the dreamtime. The poem expresses the shepherd’s appreciation for the simple pleasures of summer and his longing for companionship.

The song was re-published in 1907 by Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew, as the last of the Seven Lieder of Edward Elgar (with English and German words).



Down the dusty road together
Homeward pass the hurrying sheep,
Stupid with the summer weather,
Too much grass and too much sleep,
I, their shepherd, sing to thee
That summer is a joy to me.

Down the shore rolled waves all creamy
With the flecked surf yesternight;
I swam far out in starlight dreamy,
In moving waters cool and bright,
I, the shepherd, sing to thee
I love the strong life of the sea.

And upon the hillside growing
Where the fat sheep dozed in shade,
Bright red poppies I found blowing,
Drowsy, tall and loosely made,
I, the shepherd, sing to thee
How fair the bright red poppies be.

To the red-tiled homestead bending
Winds the road, so white and long
Day and work are near their ending
Sleep and dreams will end my song,
I, the shepherd, sing to thee;
In the dreamtime answer, answer me,
In the dreamtime answer, answer me.


Auf dem langen Weg, der stäubet,
Heim die Herde Schafe eilt,
Von der Sommersonn’ bestäubet,
Von der Weid’, wo sie geweilt,
Ich, dein Schäfer, singe dir:
Der Sommer ist ein’ Freude mir.

An das Ufer schlugen schäumend
Weissgekrönte Wellen an;
Ich schwann hinaus, die Nacht träumend,
Als sie sich über’s Wasser spann;
Ich, dein Schäfer, singe dir:
Die See ist eine Freude mir.

Auf der blum’gen Bergeshalde,
Wo die Herde schlafend lag,
Fand ich bei dem Saum vom Walde
Rote Rosen an dem Hag;
Ich, dein Schäfer, singe dir:
Wie rot die Rosen leuchten mir.

Nach der trauten Hütte wendet
Sich der Weg, so lang und weiss,
Tag und Arbeit sind vollendet,
Bald naht sich der Schlummer leis’,
Ich, dein Schäfer, singe dir:
In dem Traume träume, träum’ von mir,
In dem Traume träume, träum’ von mir.

Sing it today

The Shepherd’s Song, by Edward Elgar