Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Harold Child

Letter No.: 
1 Feb 12

13 Cheyne Walk.

Dear Child
It was splendid to see your handwriting once more.  I was getting so afraid the fount had stopped.  It was good of you to go on when you were in such trouble.  I do hope things are better with you now.
Now what I look forward to is the second act.  I'm afraid of working out the whole seam over Act I, and having nothing left for Act II.  I write out here a little tune1 which I have had in my mind for some time.  I've always connnected it in my mind with the opening of 1st Act, and an auctioneer man shouting out 'going, going, gone; going, going, gone; worth twice the money, going, going, gone', or something of that sort, but you see, it would suit any sort of tag which people cd repeat at intervals (e.g. something about Boney).  But I feel it is important to have some refrain of the sort all through the opening scene to make the whole into a sort of Rondo - i.e. the refrain interspersed with various short episodes, such as lavender cries and so on, working up to a big noise then a pause in which the ballad-seller's rather quavering voice is heard ('all the new ballads - all the new ballads and songs' etc.) greeted by rather a quiet slow chorus - then after a few false starts the ballad singer starts 'Tuesday morning' and is taken up by Mary.  Does this appeal to you at all?
R. Vaughan Williams

1.  No longer extant.


Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
Ms Mus. 1714/2/4, ff.53-55
R.V.W.: a biography, p.412