Only a Couple Fishes

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SA children's choir, piano

The verse of this timeless tale is infused with dry wit and Latin jazz rhythms, while the canonic chorus is a graceful prayer of thanks. During performance of Only a Couple Fishes, the audience may be invited to sing the chorus with the choir.

Technical Details: Much of this song is in unison, with a descant during a short bridge. The chorus is sung in unison until its final occurrence, at which time it may be sung in 2, 3 or 4 parts, with or without the participation of the audience.

Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
SEA-116-00
Duration: 
4:00
Commissioned By: 
American Composers Forum Faith Partners Program
Premiere
Premiere Ensemble: 
Children's Choir of Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service (Watertown, MN)
Premiere Conductor: 
Joyce Harding
Text
Text Author or Source: 
Elizabeth Alexander
Text: 

Only a Couple Fishes
Lyrics by Elizabeth Alexander

Long ago, five thousand people headed out into the wilderness,
Listening to a wise man,
And following where he led.
When their bellies started rumbling,
Some people started grumbling,
'Til the wise man opened up his arms and said:

As we share what we have with each other,
Let us sing out joyfully.
May abundance lead to gratitude,
Then to generosity.

To and fro they passed a basket, but discovered when they looked within:
Only a couple fishes, and only five loaves of bread.
The amount was truly humbling;
Morale was quickly crumbling,
But they prayed together as the wise man said:
As we share what we have with each other,
Let us sing out joyfully.
May abundance lead to gratitude,
Then to generosity.

Overflowing baskets started coming forth before their very eyes:
Suddenly there was plenty, and everyone there was fed.
There was so much that was edible;
The feasting was incredible,
And so much left over that the people said:

As we share what we have with each other,
Let us sing out joyfully.
May abundance lead to gratitude,
Then to generosity.

© 2012 by Elizabeth Alexander. All rights reserved.