Songs of Youth (SSA)

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SSA, piano, optional vibraphone (children's choir)

An atmospheric and energetic work about the thrill and impatience of growing up. The compelling text of this two-movement work is a collage of single words suggesting stages of growth, creating a progression from "waiting, watching, wondering" to "doing, daring, flying!" The optional vibraphone part lends even more color to this unique youth choir showpiece.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
SEA-004-01
Duration: 
5:00
Commissioned By: 
Waunakee Middle School. Waunakee, WI [Original SAB Version]
Text
Text Author or Source: 
Elizabeth Alexander
Language: 
English
Text: 

"Songs of Youth"
Lyrics by composer Elizabeth Alexander,
with students from Waunakee Middle School

I. When?

When? When?
Stretching, seeking, slumbering...

What a world of shapes and colors, gentle hands and lullabies.

Crawling, reaching...

Will there be a time to use my eager arms and open eyes?

Waiting, watching, wondering...
When? When? When?

II. Now!

Now! Now! Now!

Sailing, soaring, running, racing,
Speeding, sporting, cheering, chasing,
Shouting, sharing, doing, daring -
No more wondering when!

Working, wishing, dreaming, dancing,
Reaching, risking, choosing, chancing,
Growing, giving, learning, living -
No more wondering when!

Trusting... Trying... Loving... Crying...

Sailing, soaring, running, racing,
Speeding, sporting, cheering, chasing,
Shouting, sharing, doing, daring - flying!

Now! Straightaway!
At once! No delay!
It's now or never, here and now,
Without hesitation the moment to live...is Now!

© 1992 by Elizabeth Alexander. Reprinted by permission.