Stephen Scotti


Stephen Scotti was a composer, musician, singer and poet. A graduate of Boston University, Scotti had a long, distinguished career in all his artistic fields, with an emphasis on song composition and setting poetry to music. He collaborated with Cole Porter on song composition and appeared on RTE, Ireland’s national television network, performing poems of William Butler Yeats.  Below are two examples of Scotti’s work. The first poem, On the Dogtown Common Road, is by Scotti and Lee Cox, a Gloucester poet of the early 20th century. The second poem, Morgan Stanwood, is by Hiram Rich, a Gloucester poet of the 19th century; the text is from Poems of American History ed. by Burton Egbert Stevenson. Both recordings were made in Dublin. Click on bar above the titles to listen to Scotti perform the pieces.



On the Dogtown Common Road

O come and roam with me today,

Where nature undefiled holds sway,

And where its majesty profound,

In primal grandeur may be found,

Then let’s to Dogtown Common lie,

Where nature’s scenic grandeurs lie,

We’ll bid the city streets adieu,

And some old road our way pursue.



Away, Come away, come away…

On the Dogtown Common Road…


One road that’s sure to give delight,

Leads to an ancient village site,

Whose homes are now but scattered stone,

And garden patches brush o’er grown

From there we’ll trudge o’er rugged ground,

Where many winding trails abound,

Or through some narrow path we’ll push,

Which off times leads through bramble bush.



These winding paths run here and there,

With barren wildness everywhere,

But from the open heights we see,

Fair vistas of the distant sea,

While there I’m constantly aware,

Of fragrant bayberry in the air,

And listen as I trudge along,

To hear the catbird’s plaintive song.



Away, Come away, come away…

On the Dogtown Common Road…


Who knows who laid these old stonewalls,

That frequently our progress stalls,

Or when the ice age held domain,

And left its terminal moraine?

The mammoth boulders o’er the ground,

In such fantastic shapes are found,

And some have sayings carved thereon,

They’re noble thoughts to ponder on.



“Keep out of Debt,” “Intelligence,”

“Initiative,” “Integrity,” “Ideas,” “Ideals” and “Loyalty,”

These words we see while walking free.

“Be True,” “Be Clean,” and “Be on Time,”

“Help Mother,” “Save” and “Get a Job,”

There’s “Courage,” “Truth” and “Kindness,” too,

There’s “Spiritual Power,”

These rocks ring true.



Away, Come away, come away…

On the Dogtown Common Road…



Morgan Stanwood


Cape Ann, 1775  Morgan Standwood, Patriot!

Little more is known;

Nothing of his home is left

But the door-step stone!


Morgan Stanwood, to our thought

You return once more;

Once again the meadows lift

Daisies to your door.


Once again the morn is sweet,

Half the hay is down, –

Hark! what means that sudden clang

From the distant town?


Larum bell and rolling drum

Answer sea-borne guns;

Larum bell and rolling drum

Summon Freedom’s sons!


And the mower thinks to him

Cry both bell and drum,

“Morgan Stanwood, where art thou?

Here th’ invaders come.”


“Morgan Stanwood” need no more

Bell and Drum-beat call;

He is one who, hearing once,

Answers once for all!


Ne’er the mower murmured then

“Half my grass is mown,

Homespun isn’t soldier-wear,

Each may save his own!”


Fallen scythe and aftermath

Lie forgotten now;

Winter need may come and find

But a barren mow.


Down the musket comes. “Good wife, –

Wife, a quicker flint!”

And the face that questions face

Hath no color in it.


“Wife, if I am late to-night

Milk the heifer first; –

Ruth, if I’m not home at all, –

Worse has come to worst.”


Morgan Stanwood sped along,

Not the Common Road;

Over wall and hill-top straight,

Straight to death, he strode;


Leaving her to hear at night

Tread of burdened men,

By the gate and through the gate,

At the door, and then –


Ever after that to hear,

When the grass is sweet,

Through the gate and through the night,

Slowly coming feet.


Morgan Stanwood’s roof is gone;

Here the door-step lies;

One may stand thereon and think, –

For the thought will rise, –


Were we where the meadow was,

Mowing grass alone,

Would we go the way he went,

From this very stone?


Were we on the door-step here,

Parting for a day,

Would we utter words as though

Parting were for aye?


Would we? Heart, the hearth is dear,

Meadow-math is sweet;

Parting be as parting may,

After all, we meet.