Songs My Mother Taught Me


This song is dedicated to Molly Parmelee Ives, Charles Ives' mother.

The daughter of a local Connecticut farm family, Molly had only limited education and no interest in music, and she seems to have busied herself almost exclusively with domestic concerns. She rates little more than a mention in the biographies and Ives' own memos, but his affection for her is evident from "Songs My Mother Taught Me," a setting of Natalie Macfarran's English translation of the verse by Czech poet Adolf Heyduk that Antonin Dvorak had set in 1880.

--Richard E. Rodda

Songs My Mother Taught Me
By Alfred Heyduk
Translation by Natalie Macfarren

Songs my mother taught me in the days long vanished,
Seldom from her eyelids were the tear drops banished.
Now I teach my children each melodious measure;
Often tears are flowing from my memory's treasure.

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