Cherish Your Doubt (SSAA)

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SSAA, piano (women's choir)

This vibrant work uses the energy and immediacy of gospel music to affirm that most important component of belief: doubt.

A soulful opening solo leads to the chorus' response, a bold declaration alive with full-bodied chords and incisive lyrics.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
SEA-063-02
Duration: 
5:00
Commissioned By: 
SSAA Arrangement Commissioned by Vox Femina of Los Angeles
Premiere
Premiere Conductor: 
Iris Levine
Performances: 

Grand Rapids Women's Chorus; Lori Tennenhouse, conductor. Grand Rapids, MI
University of North Carolina Women's Glee Club; Sue Klausmeyer, conductor. Chapel Hill, NC
Vox Femina Los Angeles; Iris Levine, conductor with guest soloist Suede. Pasadena, CA

Text
Text Author or Source: 
Elizabeth Alexander
Language: 
English
Text: 

"Cherish Your Doubt"
Lyric by composer Elizabeth Alexander

Springtime without winter would enter with a yawn,
Dawn without the night would be a tedium of light.
Reunion follows parting, and rebirth follows death,
And our songs of love have grown
From the very seeds our doubt have sown.
Without a doubt, our hearts and minds would never grow,
Without a doubt, our dreams would have nowhere to go,
Without a doubt, we'd never change the status quo.
Yes, without a doubt, we'd be hanging on
To notions that are better gone,
So try to love the questions,
Those thorny, thorny questions.
Trust your intuition, and cherish your doubt.

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
That's what true belief is about.
With a faith both tempered and strong,
Questioning only helps it along,
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out --
Cherish your doubt.

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
Mighty oaks can weather a drought.
Any faith worth taking to heart,
Tested a bit, will not fall apart.
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out --
Cherish your doubt.

(Don't be afraid of what you'll find.
Leave your darkest fears behind.)

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
That's one thing you can't do without.
When you walk that less-traveled route,
Wonderful new ideas may sprout.
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out --
Cherish your doubt.

(Call on your reason and compassion, although it may not be in fashion.
Don't be afraid of what you'll find, just leave your fears behind.)

Cherish your doubt, don't you ever refuse it;
You can move a whole mountain if you use it --
Cherish your doubt.

(A different drummer you will hear when you cherish your doubt.
You haven't anything to fear when you cherish your doubt.)

That's what true belief is about -- don't throw it out!

© 2005 by Elizabeth Alexander.

The phrase "Cherish your doubt" is used with the blessing of Richard Weston.