The Sweepers

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"The Sweepers" is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), and set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar in 1917, as the fourth of a set of four war-related songs on nautical subjects for which he chose the title "The Fringes of the Fleet".[1]

Like the others in the cycle, it is intended for four baritone voices: a solo and chorus. It was originally written with orchestral accompaniment, but was later published to be sung with piano accompaniment.

The poem was called by Kipling "Mine Sweepers", and is about the British ships called minesweepers which cleared the seas of enemy mines in World War I.


  1. ^ Kennedy, Michael (1987). Portrait of Elgar (Third ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 354. ISBN 0-19-284017-7. 1917 Vocal: The Fringes of the Fleet (R. Kipling), four songs for four baritones and orchestra. 1. The Lowestoft Boat; 2. Fate's Discourtesy; 3. Submarines; 4. The Sweepers. 

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