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   Douglas Lee                                                      William Butler

     SAUM       sings       YEATS


On September 30, 1996 Douglas Lee Saum prepared for work as usual, shower, shave, daily vitamins, etc. When he looked at his Cuala Press water-colored litho of W. B. Yeats' poem "The Fiddler of Dooney," however, it ceased to be a normal day.

Saum at Yeats Grave in Drumcliffe

    This day he did not just read the words, it was as if the poem sang to him. A clear, distinct melody rang out in his head as he read the first two lines.

    "That's unusual," thought Douglas as he realized he was late and must leave. In the car, before he travelled the two miles to school where he taught English, the entire melody for this poem had presented itself. "Cool beans," he thought "but I'll never remember it."

    To make the story short, he did remember it. In fact, in the next nine years he got quite used to the poems of W. B. Yeats singing their melodies to him. Not all of the poems, certainly, but about two hundred and seventy of them . . . so far. And so he began to record these songs and is sharing them with the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Short Reviews

"Beautiful songs!" Tony Palmer, Filmmaker, Wagner, 200 Motels, All My Loving, Bird on a Wire, All You Need is Love . . . and many more.

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“A new world of beauty and wonder . . .” Blair Jackson, Author of Garcia:  An American Life,  Going Down the Road:  A Grateful Dead Traveling Companion, Senior Editor Mix Magazine.

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“Doug Saum is a resident of Reno, Nevada, who has compiled several CDs in which he has put the poetry of William Butler Yeats into song.  His renditions of the poems capture the essence of the work of Yeats.  Many have previously sought in vain to do this, and Saum has succeeded.”  Declan Foley, Editor, Beyond Ben Bulben (Australian Yeats Society)

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“Yeats believed that every soul sings a ‘sweet crystalline cry.’  Here is music which has at its heart that clear and indomitable cry.” Donovan Welch, Poet

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[Saum] “ . . . is utterly faithful in preserving these poems . . . has a knack, and obviously a passion, for taking Yeats’s stirring poetry and recasting not just the Irishman’s words but his spirit into . . . sounds that variously recall the Celtic-tinged folk rock of the Waterboys or the folky side of Neil Young.” Rick de Yampert, The News-Journal, Daytona, Florida

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"Doug Saum’s music for Beautiful Lofty Things demonstrates perfectly how images function as the catylst for other art.  Think of  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead or Ahab’s Wife, or more appropriately in this instance, what Beethoven did with Schiller’s poem". Richard Londraville, Author, Prodigal Father Revisited:  Artists and Writers in the World of John Butler Yeats