Pathetique Sonata with lyrics

In 1933 John Murray Gibbon published a book called Magic of Melody in which he examined the relationship between music and lyrical forms. This was long before our digital, pop music age and the book has a certain vintage charm.

Mr Gibbon wrote some lyrics for some well known classical pieces. Here are his lyrics for Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata.


Pathetique sheet2.colour



5 thoughts on “Pathetique Sonata with lyrics

  1. Not as poetically putrid as the lyrics for the Chopin etude! Perhaps somewhat congruent with Beethoven’s way of expressing himself, too– I wonder what he would think of this?

  2. Yes, I think it is a lot better. I was wondering myself what he’d think of it too….I think he’d be rather touched that Mr Murray tried to get a feel for the mood of the adagio and he’d like the rhythm of the lyrics. The rhythm of the lyrics is really rather good. I cannot read music very well, so can’t follow how they follow the music ( or not …). I think he’d like me to try and play it, and try and sing it, but Pathetique is far too hard for my fumbly beginner’s fingers!

    • It is- it is so gentle and I could almost be flowery, and say there is tenderness and love in there too…:)
      The contrast between this adagio and the rocket of the first movement is very affecting.

      Why not try and play this Murray Gibbon sheet yourself? It’d be interesting to see how you feel the lyrics fit the rhythm of the adagio or not…

  3. Pingback: Laurie’s Sonata Pathetique in Little Women – Much ado about Little Women

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