for 5-part choir
by Vaughan McAlley (2012)
Lamentations is a setting of the second set of readings for Good Friday. The scoring is SATTB, but transposed down a fourth, it can also be sung by men only (ATTBarB). The words are from Lamentations 2:13-15.
What can I say for you, to what compare you,
O daughter Jerusalem?
To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you,
O virgin daughter Zion?
For vast as the sea is your ruin;
who can heal you?
Your prophets have seen for you
false and deceptive visions;
they have not exposed your iniquity
to restore your fortunes,
but have seen oracles for you
that are false and misleading.
All who pass along the way
clap their hands at you;
they hiss and wag their heads
at daughter Jerusalem;
‘Is this the city that was called
the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?’
Images with relevance to contemporary society include a depiction of a sea-breach inspired by the disastrous and unstoppable tsunami in Japan, and today’s myriad of false prophets. Jerusalem being likened to a beautiful daughter who has lost her innocence is particularly poignant.