Dragon Dance

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SA, piano (children's choir)

The clever lyrics of this upbeat song describe a Chinese dragon with many different feet, a metaphor for diversity within our communities. Predominantly sung in unison, with a syncopated "partner song" finale.

Recipient of Top Honors in the Waging Peace Through Singing Project.

Perusal Score: 
Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
SEA-001-01
Duration: 
2:00
Awards: 

Top Honors, Waging Peace Through Singing Project

Performances: 

Young Naperville Singers. Naperville, IL
First Unitarian Church Children's Choir; Mark Slegers, conductor. Portland, OR
Union Elementary School Choir; Mattie Banzhaf, conductor. Farmington, CT
Linwood Elementary School Choir; Kim Kroetch, conductor. Saint Paul, MN

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

"Dragon Dance"
Lyric by composer Elizabeth Alexander

Behold the Chinese dragon, the toast of New Year's Day,
With legs of nearly every shape and size.
They dance in all directions, and in such disarray,
I fear he'll fall apart before my eyes!

The head goes left and the tail goes right,
The feet go fast and the body goes slow,
The front end pushes and the back end pulls
and there seems to be no plan --
But hey, no matter!
The dragon stays together.

Some feet are wearing sandals, or moccasins, or pumps,
Or boots with laces trailing on the ground.
The dragon bends and stretches, its body sags and humps,
But somehow that old reptile gets around.

The head goes left and the tail goes right,
The feet go fast and the body goes slow,
The front end pushes and the back end pulls
and there seems to be no plan --
But hey, no matter!
The dragon stays together.

I marvel at this dragon cavorting in the street,
This multi-ped made up of such extremes.
I wonder how he functions with all those different feet?
What keeps the beast from splitting at the seams?

The head goes left and the tail goes right,
The feet go fast and the body goes slow,
The front end pushes and the back end pulls
and there seems to be no plan --
But hey, no matter!
The dragon stays together.

© 1990 by Elizabeth Alexander. Reprinted by permission.