Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Margery Cullen

Letter No.: 
VWL2993
January 30th 1955

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

Dear Margery

Here is the song, revised original - I have sent copy to OUP.1  I have come to the conclusion that I should like to give the L.H.M.F.2 not only the song, but the thousand copies, and these will be given, not sold, to the singers. I am seeing Alan Frank tomorrow, and if the O.U.P.3 wants to print it, I should like them to do so. I shall explain to them that I have given it to the  L.H.M.F., and it is their property, will be marked “privately printed” and no one else will be allowed to sing it. The O.U.P. are not printers, so I expect they will not want to undertake it. In that case you will go ahead with Novello, or any one else you choose, and you can tell them to send the account to me.
Love from

Uncle Ralph
pp Ursula

P.S.  Some of the letter does not apply. I have sent it to Alan Frank as I definitely want O.U.P. to print. The question of copyright must be settled & will write again about it when I hear from Alan Frank.

Song for a spring Festival
What is the meaning of spring
on this gay spring morning?
Bells in the Easter air,
swallows returning,
new leaves on branches
where frost has been,
young grasses in fields,
green light on green:
plumage of yaffle and dove,
cowslips and violets grow
by orchards blossoming
and the blackthorn’s snow:
morning of daffodil air
and migrants bringing
spring home with flowers and songs
and choirs singing.


1. VW set these words by Ursula Vaughan Williams under the same title for mixed chorus, Catalogue of Works 1955/1. He gave the work to the Leith Hill Musical Festival under the terms set out in the letter. For his letter to Alan Frank see VWL2965.
2. Leith Hill Musical Festival.
3. Oxford University Press.

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General notes: 

Typewritten, signed by UVW.

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 645
Original database number: 
550130