Art • Illustration • Design • Ceramics • Music

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

adaptation of a poem by Mary E. Frye (13 nov 1905 - 15 sept 2004)
This song is dedicated to my wife's mom, Celestine Bullimore, who passed away in 2007. It was her favorite poem.
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"Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" was written on a brown paper shopping bag by Mary Frye in 1932, to comfort a young German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who was staying with her and her husband in Baltimore (USA).
When the young women's mother back home in Germany got ill, and later died, she was unable to return home because of increasing anti-Semitic unrest.
She was heartbroken that she never had the chance to "stand by her mother's grave and shed a tear".
Over the years this little bereavement poem has inspired and comforted thousands of people in times of grief and loss.

There are many versions and translations of this poem.
During my research for this song, I found a very interesting page with lots of information on Alan Chapman's website.
Please visit this page if you want to learn more about the history and background of the poem and its author.

I have always loved this poem and I tried to capture in the music both the sadness and the comfort.
In the beginning the strings are weeping, and the first parts are sung above the loneliness of the solo cello.
The second part is more comforting and uplifting.
I made a small addition to the original text ("and hold the light") to better fit my music, without having to repeat "that shine at night".

Many thanks to Herlinde for her beautiful performance of this song. She is a young, but very talented singer and I am honored with her collaboration to bring this piece to life.
Many thanks to my son Corneel, who shot the footage for the video in our beautiful village, Wichelen.

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Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I do not sleep.

I'm a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
Autumn rain...

When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
And hold the light...

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
I am with you still, in each new dawn.

lyrics by Mary E. Frye (adapted by Jef De Corte)
music composed and played by Jef De Corte
vocals by Herlinde Van den Bossche
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Herlinde Van den Bossche (°1988) (mezzo-soprano) studies classical vocals at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Antwerp (Belgium).
She has completed her Bachelor very succesfully and is for the moment in her 2nd Master with professor Stephanie Friede and assistents Liesbeth Devos and Valérie Vervoort.
Herlinde is building a professional career and also sings in the semi-professional vocal ensemble Octopus (conducted by Bart Van Reyn).
© 2013 Jef De Corte • Aeronaut bvba • Margote 17 • B-9260 Wichelen • Belgium • Contact Me