Rose

Regular price $175.00

This print is available in different sizes and with or without an English translation. Please make your selections from the dropdown menus above to see the price for each option. See the F.A.Q. page for more information about framing (available for U.S. orders only).

This print is also available as a ketubah. See this page for more information. 

Although I've been in amateur choirs all my life, I really learned to sing at a capella workshops given by The Western Wind. Along with Bach, Brahms, Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Frank Zappa, vocal jazz, and everything in between, we found moments of calm learning the joyful and meditative songs of 16th century American composer William Billings. One of my favorites was this setting from Song of Songs, some the best music about love I've ever heard:

Text: Song of Songs 2:1-11

Translation (as used in the Billings version):
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley;
I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley;
As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters,
As the apple tree, the apple tree among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among the sons, so is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
And his fruit was sweet to my taste;
And his fruit, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house
His banner over me was love,
He brought me to the banqueting house
His banner over me was love.

Stay me with flagons,
Comfort me with apples, for I am sick,
for I am sick, for I am sick of love;
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
By the roses, and by the hinds of the field,
That you stir not up,
That you stir not up,
That you stir not up,
that you stir not up, nor awake, awake,
awake, awake, my love, till he please.

The voice of my beloved,
Behold! he cometh,
leaping upon the mountains skipping,
skipping, skipping, skipping,
leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved spake,
And said unto me,
Rise up,
Rise up,
Rise up,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone,
the rain is over, the rain is over and gone.
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

(The print version with English translation includes a short portion of this text.) 

The music itself leaps and skips like an exultant gazelle, just like the ones I saw in Ein Gedi the first time I visited Israel. My favorite line is the last. It reminds us of the safety and peace that rests at the core of true love, whether that love is between each of us, individually, or between us and God.

(Please note: watermark appears on website images only.)

Here's a lovely performance of Billings' setting of "The Rose of Sharon" by the Dordt College Concert Choir.


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