“There’s nothing in the house But a loaf-end of rye, And a harp with a woman’s head Nobody will buy,” And she began to cry.

The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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“My music teacher offered twittering madrigals and something about how, in Italy, in Italy, the oranges hang on the tree. He treated me – the humiliation of it – as a soprano.

These, by contrast, are the six elements of a Sacred Harp alto: rage, darkness, motherhood, earth, malice, and sex. Once you feel it, you can always do it. You know where to go for it, though it will cost you.”

― Mary Rose O’Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd

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