There Is A Lady, Sweet And Kind (TTBB A Cappella)

I met my wife during a very hectic time in my life. I was working as the music director at her childhood church, attempting to teach a private piano studio of 20 students forty minutes away and was about to continue college to start my Masters degree. She was in town on break visiting family . Her studies were also concluding in Chicago and she was about to start on her Masters degree in Nashville as well. This pivotal meeting happened after a service one Sunday. I am embarrassed to say I don’t remember it. I was very green at my job and was paying more attention to mundane chores than the lovely young lady who introduced herself that day and who one day would be my bride. She always tells this story with a very wide grin when it comes up in conversation.

We started dating the night before Groundhog’s Day in 2005. I proposed to her on her birthday in November. We dined, attended the world premiere of “Surrender Road” (appropriate title for the occasion) by Nashville Opera and afterwards I presented her a birthday present of overstuffed dog slippers. While I knelt down to help her try the slippers on, I retrieved the ring and proposed. I am happy to report that she said yes and we were married the next May. I continue to tell people to this day that I married up. It is so the truth.

I always longed to write a piece of music for her as a gift but her intensive musical training and immense talent makes this a daunting and intimidating task. I finally found a lovely poem that I really liked by Tomas Ford called “There is a Lady Sweet and Kind”. The piece wrote itself. In honor of our 5th anniversary I presented her the poem set for TTBB choir. Unfortunately for her, she had to settle for me playing the parts on the piano while making an attempt to sing the melody. For our tenth anniversary, I had it published. And for our 13th, I finally had a recording by a TTBB choir. Don’t be fooled by how slow I work. My sentiment towards her has never been stronger.

Thanks to the men of the Omicron Rho chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Belmont University for taking the time out of their schedule to not only record the work, but include it on their Spring American Music Recital.

Here’s to my wife. I couldn’t ask for a better life mate, adventure seeker and mother to our three children. I love you. I’m sorry I don’t remember meeting you. I wish I could go back and slap that version of me.

There is a Lady sweet and kind,
Was never face so pleased my mind;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.

Her gesture, motion, and her smiles,
Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart, I know not why,
And yet I love her till I die.

Cupid is wingèd and doth range,
Her country so my love doth change:
But change she earth, or change she sky,
Yet I will love her till I die.

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