Notes and Narratives
Edited By Una Hunt and Mary Pierse
The Influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on Thomas Moore
Music, oh how faint, how weak, Language fades before thy spell! Why should Feeling ever speak, When thou cans’t breathe her soul so well1
Music played a pivotal role in the life and works of the Romantic Irish author and songster Thomas Moore. It was his first love and chief source of inspiration. When writing to the publisher of his song-books Irish Melodies in 1824, he averred that ‘[m]y great delight would be, if I could afford it, to confine myself wholly to Songs & Music, but there are so many calls on me besides, that I am obliged to labour a little at everything’.2 Labour ‘a little at everything’ Moore certainly did, producing an extensive body of work during his lifetime in various genres including songs, prose, poetry, plays, history, and biography. However, it was his musical output, and particularly the exceptionally popular ten book series Irish Melodies (1808–34) – in which Moore wrote and arranged lyrics for pre-existing airs – that would prove to be the most successful and enduring of his works. It was not only in the Irish Melodies that Moore put his innate musical talent to ← 39 | 40 → good use; his oeuvre comprises a number of musical works, including the song-books National Airs (1818–27) and Sacred Songs (1816–24), several original compositions for his works ‘Melologue on National Music’ (1811), The Summer Fête (1831), and Evenings in Greece (1832). Moore also wrote extensively on the nature and power of...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.