Song for voice and piano
Set in Victorian times, the poem The Ruined Maid was written by Thomas Hardy in 1866 and is made up of 6 verses. It tells of a “fallen” woman named ‘Melia who, tired of being a farm maid, sought her fortune in the city. By chance one day, she meets a farm girl she once worked with, who remarks on her fine garments, jewels, elocution and delicate features. ‘Melia’s matter-of-fact responses show that she accepts that’s the way things are for a woman who has been ruined. The poem highlights the harsh reality and judgemental society of the Victorian era regarding women, who were morally ruined.
Scored for mezzo-soprano/alto with piano accompaniment, this work was completed in 2018 and much use is made of the double harmonic scale of D minor.