RAIN, RAIN is a set of songs written just after I moved to Phoenix in the fall of 1973 for my sister, soprano Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox.
The first and last song were taken from a musical I wrote in 1972, Jessica, which abruptly came to an end when the financial backer sold everything he owned and joined a religious commune in the California desert. Those were the days. Many of the lyrics of the show were written by a good friend of mine, Scott Wilson, who shortly afterward won the position of Second French Horn (and later, librarian and personnel manager) with the Seattle Symphony.
The other poems in the set were written by Leslie Green (Stallcop), who became my wife five years later. The last song was without words in the musical, which I retained here except for reciting Leslie’s poem “Limits” during the coda. “The Visitor” is a poem about Leslie’s mother. “Mimi” is a poem about our new kitten (meow chiamino Mimi) who lived another 18 years. “Thirty-two and In His Prime” is about nobody in particular, as far as I know, but he was over thirty, so we didn’t trust him. “Limits” is pretty self explanatory, and seemed like a good choice for duty at the end of a wordless song. Its mood also fits the song’s coda beautifully.
My sister first performed these songs at her senior recital at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox, soprano, and Glenn Stallcop, piano
Phoenix, AZ April, 2010
DOLL FANTASY (from Jessica)
Lyrics by Scott Wilson
Where have you been?
I’ve waited and waited for you.
It’s been so long,
Where have you been?
Are you here to come back with me?
Won’t you join me once more?
We need one another,
You are the one I’ve been waiting for.
Why should we leave the life we knew?
Won’t you come with me?
That’s all you have to do,
That’s all you need.
Once both of us
Danced in the sun,
Shadows in the trees
Playing in our hair.
Dance with me,
Please don’t run.
THE VISITOR By Leslie Green Stallcop
A visitor came by two nights ago
When it poured.
From the window we watched people
Count their slow steps
On streets glazed black ivory,
Their chins fallen into buttonless collars,
While the thick glassy drops poured down.
She’d been fired,
Fifty-four years old.
Her grey eyes
Set on a stony road,
Bleak mirror for a traveling widow
When it pours.
MIMI By Leslie Green Stallcop
Sleek ebony coat,
Stroked long, sleeps,
Drawn fully soft
Against my side.
Her cries echo
From steep aims.
To meet a fluttering perch.
Some cuisine buffet.
Motions of soft wash,
Filters captive play.
A lash lifts,
With padded ambition
THIRTY-TWO AND IN HIS PRIME By Leslie Green Stallcop
Man without a moral tone to drone
Out the dealing kites that fly
With the wind of discriminate plenty.
Black and white checked tablecloth
To set his feast upon.
LIMITS By Leslie Green Stallcop
If you pluck the individual bubbles
From the white froth that bounds us;
Scoop out a small round cache in the sand,
Stack the round airy agates
In the bottom bowl;
You’ll watch the puddle form
That seeps and disappears.