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An original composition of Cy’s, accompanied by lyrics written by Alec Wilder, this beautiful 1961 ballad was almost lost to posterity. A search by Virginia pianist Alex Hassan of the Library of Congress’ collection found only a lead sheet for the piece. Cy’s family’s only copy of the sheet music, lent to superb pianist Buddy Barnes, was lost after Buddy’s death. (Fortunately, however, Buddy’s recording of the song was posthumously released by Audiophile records on Buddy’s “Talking With My Pal” (Audiophile CD 294)). Miraculously, the sheet music was again found when Mark Walter, after doing a Google search on Alec Wilder in the hope that one of Wilder’s fans might have it, contacted Judy Bell of The Richmond Organization (“TRO”).
Although TRO publishes much of Wilder’s other music, it did not publish “Time and Tide”; and Judy Bell, in searching for it in TRO’s files, was surprised to find a single copy of the sheet music. (Judy hypothesized that it had been given to TRO by Alec Wilder’s lyricist, Bill Engvick, who, although past ninety, recently wrote terrific new lyrics to some of Wilder’s music; these were performed to a packed house at a 2006 New York City Wilder concert.) Judy Bell generously gave this copy to Mark Walter, with the consequence that Cy’s and Alec’s “Time and Tide” has risen again and is still here to be enjoyed.
While, sadly, no recording of Cy’s playing this gorgeous piece exists, a journalist once wrote of hearing Cy play it — and then suggesting to Cy that he would love to hear it played by an orchestra. Cy reportedly replied, “So would I!”.