Crossing The Bar


play mp3: Crossing the Bar

a cappella SATB – words by Alfred Lord Tennyson, music by Rani Arbo – arr. Peter Amidon

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      Crossing the Bar

In the Amidons’ book ‘Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs. Sung here by the Starry Mountain Singers. Rani Arbo wrote this setting for Crossing the Bar after keeping vigil while her husband’s grandmother, Elizabeth May, was dying peacefully at home at age 97. During the last two days of her life, Mrs. May was still and quiet, but in an unexpected lucid moment she – a lifelong poetry lover – opened her eyes and clearly said, “Sunset and evening star.” Rani and her husband Scott looked up the verse and discovered this beautiful poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson about a soul putting out to sea, and Rani composed the perfect setting for the poem.  Kathy Leo, head of the Hallowell hospice choir, had given Rani’s “Some Bright Morning” CD to Peter Amidon and said “Arrange Crossing the Bar!”.

Crossing the Bar

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.