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Ten Blake Songs is a song cycle for tenor or soprano voice and oboe composed over the Christmas period of 1957 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), for the 1958 film The Vision of William Blake by Guy Brenton for Morse Films.[1] The first nine songs are from Songs of Innocence and of Experience by the English poet and visionary William Blake (1757–1827); the tenth (Eternity) is from Several Questions Answered (No1 & No2) from the poet's notebook . The cycle is dedicated to the tenor Wilfred Brown and the oboist Janet Craxton. It was first performed in concert and broadcast on the BBC Third Programme on 8 October 1958, shortly after the composer's death.[2][3][4]

The songs are:

  1. "Infant Joy" (Innocence)
  2. "A Poison Tree" (Experience)
  3. "The Piper" (Innocence, titled "Introduction")
  4. "London" (Experience)
  5. "The Lamb" (Innocence)
  6. "The Shepherd" (Innocence)
  7. "Ah! Sun-flower" (Experience)
  8. "Cruelty Has a Human Heart" (Experience, titled 'A Divine Image')
  9. "The Divine Image" (Innocence)
  10. "Eternity" (Several Questions Answered, closing words)


  1. ^ Liner notes on LP Contour Red Label (Pickwick Records) CC 7577.
  2. ^ Satola, Mark. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Blake Songs (10) for voice & oboe at AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Ten Blake Songs: Song Cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)". The LiederNet Archive. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ 10 Blake Songs (Vaughan Williams, Ralph): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)