Purcell: Dido’s Lament

Dear Senator Clinton,
Life goes on. We will have a Madam President one day. I certainly would have liked it to be Hillary Clinton. So here is the ultimate woman’s lament. Left behind, Queen Dido cries her heart out. Sing along and have a good, angry cry. Don’t just hop onto Senator Obama’s vice-presidential ticket as if you had won. You know that won’t work, not without properly acknowledging that you lost. Maybe you will be Vice-President, but not if you keep up this preposterous act. So, Senator, go over to the Onion and have a good laugh about it all and get back your sense of perspective. Because we need you, dear Senator, and we need you for the long run.
Respectfully,
Anne
Listen to Dido’s glorious lament sung by two of the finest sopranos:

Emma Kirkby

Janet Baker

Thy hand, Belinda;
darkness shades me
On thy bosom let me restright
More I would, but Death invades me
Death is now a welcome guest

When I am laid, am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
When I am laid, am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;

Remember me, remember me
But ah! forget my fate

Remember me,
But ah! forget my fate

Remember me, remember me
But ah! forget my fate

Remember me,
But ah! forget my fate

From Dido and Aeneas, by Henry Purcell. Based on Virgil’s Aeneid. Aeneas, the Trojan, has been called away by the witches, ultimately to found Rome, and Queen Dido of Carthage, in despair, cannot live without him and kills herself.
First performed at a School For Gentlewomen in Chelsea in 1689.

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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