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Songs About Childhood/Youth

Hello, Colleagues!
I'm looking for high-quality (not necesarilly complicated) SATB works about childhood and growing up. This is for an ensemble of about 32 singers, most of whom are incredibly-talented and well-trained musicians.
Any suggestions?
Wishing you all the best,
~Brady Weldon~
on August 16, 2011 12:05pm
I'd like to offer "Tell Me Your Life Story," (SATB, a cappella, temporarily free).  Please go to to hear the music and access the PDF. Theme: A younger person asks an older person, perhaps a grandparent (or it could also be a friend asking a friend), to share memories of childhood and growing up. Poignant, heartfelt, touching.
Some of the original lyrics:
Come and tell me your life story,
Tell me everything.
Start at the beginning,
Your first memory of anything.
Tell me was your childhood happy?
I have never known.
Were you loved and were you wanted,
Or were you alone?
Can you see the child you were then,
Now that you are grown?
Close your eyes, imagine you are back where you were small,
Don't be shy now, nothing is taboo.
Let your mind go where it will, I wish to hear it all,
What you did and how you made it through.
Thank you for considering it, and best wishes.
on August 17, 2011 6:28am
Timothy's Toys - a song cycle by Matthew Orlovich. SSAATTBB a cappella, a lot of fun. Contact him through the Australian Muisic Centre
on August 17, 2011 6:36am
I hope you'll take a look at my composition Today, for SATB and piano, setting texts by the American poet Frank O'Hara.  It's published by Yelton Rhodes Music -- here's a link to their catalog page:
And here's a link to my web site with more info about the piece:
All best!
Jonathan Santore
on August 17, 2011 7:12am
Hi Brady,
I am sure you will get plenty of suggestions for optimistic, idealistic settings. Let me offer you a healthy set from my William Blake cycle, some of which are darker (Innocence/Exerperience). Some are simple, some more challenging.
Many have been done successfully by high school madrigal-level groups, and community choruses. The Laughing Song, Nurse's Song I, Ecchoing Green, and Freedom are particularly fun to sing.
I will be glad to provide sample perusal .pdf scores and MP3s. These are available to all conductors/groups. I self-publish, you can obtain inexpensive photocopy .pdf masters from me. Please contact me offline if you have interest. (NB: I will be out of town next week hiking in the Sierras.)
Best regards,
David Avshalomov
Composer, Singer, Conductor
2402 4th St. No. 5, Santa Monica CA 90405
310-480-9525 cell 310-392-2641 Home/Fax
The Chimney Sweeper I
SATB (opt. divisi) 4'
Ironic, ecstatic Melodrama, slow-fast-slow. Subject: Child labor, dream of flying and redemption.
The Chimney Sweeper II 2'
Bitter Melodrama, moderate speed. Subject: Child labor in the snow.
A Cradle Song  3'15
Sweet Lullaby with a middle twist; slow, soft and steady. Subject: Baby’s/Christ’s innocence, mother’s worry. Good for single voices also.
The Ecchoing Green 2'30
Exuberant Carol/glee with rhythmic high energy; opening bell tones, sleepy-bye ending. Subject: Children's play, then off to bed
Freedom/Uhuru 4'15
opt. Bar solo
Proud African Affirmation, high energy, strong and rhythmic, with a chant background. Optional clapping, minor rhythmic movement.  Subject: Divine soul of a slave child
Holy Thursday I 2'
Hopeful, steady Hymn. Subject: Processional of orphaned children into St. Paul's Cathedral. Long-melisma final cadence.
Infant Joy 2'
light S1 solo
Sweet Air/rocking song, moderate then rhythmic. Subject: Innocence and mother's joy in her newborn.
Infant Sorrow 2'15
Soulful Blues moan, slow and heavy. Subject: Pains of birth.
Laughing Song  3'40
Hilarious playful Madrigal, lively, rhythmic and full. Subject: Laughter and youth. Stage business: actual laughter/hilarity breakdown and recovery before the end.
The Little Boy Lost/Found  3'30
Worried Melodrama, restlessly moving, rhythmic. Subject: A little boy lost in the night marsh, rescued by his Father.
A Little Boy Lost [II] 4'
Righteous bitter Sermon, moderate speed. Subject: A little boy burned at the stake for questioning religion.
A Little Girl Lost (Ona) 3'
Light, then heavy Madrigal/Melodrama, lively then slow. Subject: Forbidden young love. Good for single voices also.
The Little Vagabond 1'45
High-spirited Glee, lively and rhythmic. Subject: The need for ale in church.
Nurse's Song I 2'45
SATB (SSAATT-B div end)
Innocent Vignette, moderate speed, with fade-out echo-effect divisi at the end. Subject: Children playing on the green, not ready for sleep.
The School Boy 3'30
Ironic Madrigal, lively and rhythmic, loud bitter end. Subject: Summer School trapped boredom/misery. Good for single voices also.
Spring  1'30
Charming, playful Madrigal, lively and rhythmic. Subject: Children and lambs in Spring. Excellent for single voices also.
on August 18, 2011 5:32am
Rutter's "Five Childhood Lyrics" are great - although "The Owl and the Pussycat" is rough going with high-school age singers because of the text.  The finale (Sing a Song of Sixpence) is a show-stopper.
on August 18, 2011 6:30am
If you're up for a longer work (15 min. or so) about the sadness of losing one's childhood, John Corigliano's Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas' poem) would provide a good challenge to your singers, and with good reward.  
on August 18, 2011 7:55am
Hi Brady:
You might be interested in To See As Children See for SATB unaccompanied.  A portion of the original text:
Oh to see as children see:
To look at the world with pure anticipation,
Eager for th wonderment found in the world
That only children see.
Let me know if you would like me to send you a pdf for inspection.
Bob Applebaum
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