Futility – choral sheet music





Words by:

Wilfred Owen.

Music by:

Karen Kirkland.

A beautiful work that sets the Wilfred Owen poem “Futility” to music. This music is evocative, solemn and emotional. A very well written piece of music and enjoyable to perform. This emotional poem, rich harmonies and beautiful melody is the perfect piece for World War 1 remembrance celebrations. Originally written for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at Shrewsbury Abbey. It was performed by Shrewsbury Brass band and Of one Accord choir and is endorsed by the Wilfred Owen Society.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) is widely recognised as one of the greatest voices of the First World War. His self-appointed task was to speak for the men in his care, to show the ‘Pity of War’. “Futility” is set on the front line on a bright winter morning. A soldier has recently died. Owen appears to have known him and something of his background and he ponders nature’s power to create life, setting it against the futility of extinction. Only five of his poems were published in Wilfred Owen’s lifetime. FUTILITY was one of them.

Move him into the sun
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds,
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved, still warm, too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?

This arrangement is available for piano and SATB choir. Other choral arrangements and brass band arrangement are available on request. Suitable for secondary school/senior choirs, community choral groups, auditioned choirs and male voice choirs.

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