Article " Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh

Weepin' Mary, 1917, by Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949.
Weepin' Mary, 1917. Harry Thacker Burleigh, 1866-1949. Music Division, Library of Congress. Call number: M1671.W

Burleigh's brief setting of Weepin' Mary was published in 1917 in versions for solo voice and women's chorus by G. Ricordi & Co., New York. The women's chorus version was arranged by Nathaniel Clifford Page (1866-1956). Only thirty-one measures in length, the setting is a quiet, introspective piece in AAB form. The text is a commentary on a biblical passage: "But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher" (John 20:11).

Burleigh's setting is austere in its unvaried, quarter-note/half-note rhythm. His harmonic inventiveness is, therefore, all the more telling against such a simple backdrop. After setting the first phrase in diatonic triads in F minor, he repeats that phrase with subtle chromaticisms and one bold progression on "Call upon your Jesus, an' He'll draw near." On the word "Jesus," Burleigh moves from an F-minor chord directly to a G-flat-augmented chord to create a powerful, expressive dissonance.

About this Item

Title
" Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh
Subject Headings
-  Burleigh, H. T. (Harry Thacker), 1866-1949
-  Worship and Praise
-  Songs and Music
-  Parlor and Concert Stage
-  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
-  Traditional and Ethnic Songs and Music
-  Articles
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article
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online text
Description
Article. Burleigh's setting is austere in its unvaried, quarter-note/half-note rhythm. His harmonic inventiveness is, therefore, all the more telling against such a simple backdrop. After setting the first phrase in diatonic triads in F minor, he repeats that phrase with subtle chromaticisms and one bold progression on "Call upon your Jesus, an' He'll draw near." On the word "Jesus," Burleigh moves from an F-minor chord directly to a G-flat-augmented chord to create a powerful, expressive dissonance.
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Items included here with the permission of the rights holders are indicated as such in the bibliographic record for each item.

In some cases, the Library was unable to identify a possible rights holder and has elected to place some of those items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. The Library of Congress would like to learn more about these materials and would like to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information or know of their history. Please contact:  Performing Arts Reading Room.

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" Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185376/. (Accessed September 19, 2017.)

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" Weepin' Mary" by Harry Thacker Burleigh. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200185376/>.