The harmonic underpinning in the accompaniment of What Then reveals a dreamlike matrix over which a graceful melody unfolds. It features accessible ranges, a single melody, and thoughtful voice leading. It is an attractive choice for variety of ensembles and situations. This work explores the ramifications of the dreams being closer to the conscious realty than we have ever imagined. In situations where a flute is not available, cue notes have been provided in the piano accompaniment.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1819-1892) was a poet and philosopher who along with William Wordsworth are credited as being among the founders of the Romantic movement. The text for this song is taken from Anima Poetae (1895) a volume of previously unpublished notes. The middle section of the text is a poetic commentary on the power of dreams taken from James Allen’s (1864-1912) As a Man Thinketh (1902). In the chapter “Visions and Ideals” Allen reflects on the merits dreaming of things bigger than that which you came from. It is a testament to humanity’s creative spirit. The A sections poses the question “What if you slept and in that dream were given a flower?” The contrasting B section provides commentary on the positive power of dreams and visions on one’s aspirations. The A section returns to not to answer the question, but rather asks another question that takes the matter further, suggesting that the bigger question is what we would do if we realized that we were more capable than we ever imagined.
What if you sleep and in your sleep And in that dream you pass into paradise
And once you were there you were given a flower A pledge to your soul that you had really been there
Dream lofty dreams and as you dream so shall you become And as you dream, so shall you become,
A vision, the promise of what you shall one day become And if you found that when you awoke T hat flower still in your hand Ah, what then? When you awoke You had that flower in you hand Ah, what then?”
So dream lofty dreams and so as you dream So shall you become.