for soprano, bass, mandola, viola, cello, and piano
Text by Cynthia Fogg
premiered September 16, 2018
Bridges Hall, Claremont, California
A Lamp Unto Thy Tweet is an imagined encounter between the Statue of Liberty and the 2018 occupant of the White House. The piece was inspired by “The New Colossus,” a poem written in 1903 by Emma Lazarus to help raise money for the construction of the Statue’s pedestal. The music transports the poem to 2018, where the welcoming sentiments expressed by the spirit of Lazarus’ poem are juxtaposed with words from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Washington- based words are recognizable to anyone following the news. They are presented mostly as originally spoken and gently assembled into rhymes by Cynthia Fogg.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.
But all that is nothing (it’s only a start)
I’ve got the best brain and I’m very smart
For each shining golf course and stunning resort
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates . . .
I’d rather be in Mar-A-Lago
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman . . .
Nobody respects women like I do!
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame . . .
speaking of wildfires – California! –
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name . . .
Crooked Hillary used email artillery
For High Crime Pelosi things are not so rosy.
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name MOTHER OF EXILES.
Build the wall!
From her beacon-hand
So what’s so wrong with a little storied pomp?
The parade is my reward for draining the swamp!
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
The war on poverty is over!
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
Children in cages? Not my fault!
I’m the one who’s under assault!
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Build the wall!
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
Don’t you tell me the earth’s too warm!
It snowed last winter. Ain’t that the norm?
Give me your tired, your poor,
– Emma Lazarus