We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams;— World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world for ever, it seems.
Ode from the book Music and Moonlight, 1874
Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy (14 March 1844 – 30 January 1881) was a British poet of Irish descent, born in London.
At the age of seventeen, in June 1861, Arthur O’Shaughnessy received the post of transcriber in the library of the British Museum, reportedly through the influence of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Two years later, at the age of nineteen, he became a herpetologist in the museum’s zoological department. However, his true passion was for literature. He published his first collection, Epic of Women, in 1870, and published two more collections of poetry: in 1872 Lays of France and Music and Moonlight in 1874. When he was thirty he married and did not produce any more volumes of poetry for the last seven years of his life. His last volume, Songs of a Worker, was published posthumously in 1881. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Ode (O’Shaughnessy) By far the most noted of any his works are the initial lines of the Ode from his book Music and Moonlight.
Sir Edward Elgar set the ode to music in 1912 in his work entitled The Music Makers, Op 69. The work was dedicated to Elgar’s old friend Nicholas Kilburn and the first performance took place at the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival in 1912. Performances available include: The Music Makers, with Sir Adrian Boult conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1975 (reissued 1999), paired with Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius; and the 2006 album Sea Pictures paired with The Music Makers, Simon Wright conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) also set the ode to music in his work Music Makers, dedicated to Merton College, Oxford on the occasion of its 700th anniversary in 1964… Read more: HERE wiki
The line “We are the music makers / and we are the dreamers of the dreams” has been quoted or used in many different media. A few examples include:
spoken by Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
used as the opening line of Living Legends song “Nothing Less (ft. Slug)”.
included in motivation speech by Herb Brooks before the U.S. Hockey Team beat the Russian team in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
used in the Aphex Twin song, “We are the Music Makers” from the album Selected Ambient Works 85-92.
the first two lines were used by Kuffdam & Plant as lyrics on their single “We are the Dream Makers”
used in the 2003 High Contrast remix of “Barcelona,” originally produced by D.Kay & Epsilon.
quoted by the character Roger in season 5, episode 6 of the television series American Dad!
used in the Buckethead song “Seaside” from “Blueprints”, the first line is a quote of Gene Wilder’s line.
often quoted in the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre’s Celebrity Magazine.
spoken by King Unique in “Tyrane - King Of The Invisible Land (Henry Saiz’s We Are The Music Makers 303 Remix)” in the 2011 CD Balance 019 Mixed by Henry Saiz
The entire ode is quoted in the opening of “Dreamers of Dreams: An Anthology of Webfiction” (2011), an ebook anthology series of online fiction, as well as inspiring the name of the series.
"One man with a dream, at pleasure, Shall go forth and conquer a crown; And three with a new song’s measure Can trample an empire down" was used by Mack Reynolds as the opening dedication (and title to) his novel "Trample an Empire Down" (1978). wiki