Turbine Lyrics

Video: About the Lyrics


18th and 19th century text compiled by Byron Au Yong (bibliography below)
I PRELUDE
1A By the Trees
soft
whispering
the stream there
trembling
round your steps

1B In the Gazebo 
clear
whispering air
timid call
swell
melting

1C Near the River 
bitter
light
strength
beneath the sky
serene

1D Around the Plaza 
balmy zephyr
frozen
come
rest
with slow steps
II GRAND PLAZA
2.1 Gilman 
through dark
channels
feel the cool
wheels rolled
iron arms
feel the cool
breaking out
roar
2.1A Dickens 
and
jerked about
turned on
poured off

2.1B Twain 
wheels 
first bridge
fine dam
pump-house

2.1C Power 
welling through the pipes deluging thirsty streets 
cleanliness
neatness
comfort
pure

2.1D Finch 
intersect
right lines
right angles
squares
trees
space

2.1E Murray 
power
steam
gracefully
peaceful city 
2.2 Quadrille Chorus 
Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, and Pine 
2.2 Quadrille Caller 
right & left four
balance & turn
ladies chain
half promenade
forward & back
cross over
chassez de chassez
back again
all round
back to back
read to the right
chassez out
form the ring
all forward
back turn partners
two give right
cross over two
six hands round
turn partners
III GEARS
in a simple handsome building
a wall of solid rock
two points give passage to a stream
clear and bright as crystal
in a stone basin: a cup for the thirsty traveller
inexhaustible supply
from this reservoir 
cylinders and pistons
miraculous mechanical
34 Pumps
Check Valve Seat
Seat Ring Sewer Valve
Ring for Compressor
Eddy
3-25 Piston Ring
Buck-eye Engine
8 Filling Flange
Rachet on Shop Crane
6 Joint Bureau
M.G.D. Motor
IV PAVILLION
4.1-4.2 A Drop (Story Telling) 
gentle friend
a hidden stream
goes playfully 
yesterday
haunting thoughts
beneath the glowing sun 
a drop pulses
then another and darker
torn one by one and sold 
calling
twilight
parting 
4.3 The Guilty (Sadness) 
if the clouds
shadow
the guilty 
how then
the fluttering wings
the voice of grief

lost ones
beseeching breath
poured out 
4.4 Moon (Moonlight) 
moon
heaven
faintly glimmering 
how soft the beam
the gloom of night

star spangled glory
whisper to me
tell what awaits 
4.5 Flood (Schuylkill) 
leaping
deep and shaded pool
dimpled 
old trees lift their tall heads against the sky

mournful echo
when the hush
steals the calm 
oh how one charmed word will start a thousand breathing memories 
flood
4.6 Transition (ASTRÆA) 
loved by stars
a granite ledge
to gaze from the sea’s edge
there for purging light
there for purifying storms
its depths reflect all forms
justice journeying to harbor
V RIVER
afloat fair city
through the gathering like a strong giant that has just received the breath of life
I shall never forget

ding ding ding
what have we here?
a ruddy face with a clear honest eye
and the noble ship breaks proudly through the water…
Bibliography
I PRELUDE
· Critical and Poetical Works, John Penn (1797) 
II GRAND PLAZA
· The Poetry of Traveling in the United States, Caroline Howard Gilman (1838)
· American Notes for General Circulation, Charles Dickens (1913)
· Mark Twain’s Letters, Mark Twain (1853-1866)
· Impressions of America, Tyrone Power (1836)
· Travels in the United States of America and Canada, John Finch (1833)
· Travels in North America, Charles Augustus Murray (1834-1836)
· The Fairmount Quadrilles, John Hewitt (1836)
· Gazetteer of the United States of America, John Hayward (1854) 
III GEARS
· Travels in the United States, Alexander Mackay (1846-1847)
· Domestic Manners of Americans, Francis Trollope (1832)
· Transatlantic Sketches, Captain J.E. Alexander (1833)
· Inscriptions on Templates for Turbine Parts, Philadelphia Water Department (1920s)
IV PAVILLION
· Essays, Philanthropic and Moral, Elizabeth Margaret Chandler (1836)
· Early Poems, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
V RIVER
· American Notes for General Circulation, Charles Dickens (1913)
Video: History of the Fairmount Water Works with Adam Levine


Special Thanks
Adam Levine (Philadelphia Water Department), Karen Young (Fairmount Water Works), Leah Stein, Library Company of Philadelphia
Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. He teaches in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

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