The Earth Called To My Friend

SSA, piano (women or children's)

A song of memorial that heartily embraces the vitality of life. With a lyric by Native American Nancy Wood and a sparkling musical setting by Elizabeth Alexander, this song celebrates life and death, rain and drought, and the cherished memory of "the wild old dances of our youth."


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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
Commissioned By: 
Ida and Jerry Franklin. Farmington, CT. For the students of Union School, in memory of Alex Franklin
Premiere Conductor: 
Mattie Banzhaf

University of North Carolina Women's Glee Club; Sue Klausmeyer, conductor. Chapel Hill, NC
Good Company; Steven Hoifeldt, conductor. Ames, IA
Saint Mary's College Collegiate Choir; Nancy Menk, conductor. Notre Dame, IN

Text Author or Source: 
Nancy Wood

"The Earth Called To My Friend"
Poem by Nancy Wood

The Earth called to my friend and he went,
Deep into the Earth Root from which he came,
Down into Blue Lake where our ancestors dwell,
Deep into the heart of the Yellow Corn Maiden,
To a place of beauty and light.

I watched the sky for a long time and then I saw
A cloud in the shape of my friend,
Riding a fine white horse with wings so big
They blotted out the sun, making shadows
Across my withered fields of corn.

I called to my friend to ask if he was happy
And if he knew more than when he left.
I called out his name and blessed him
With an eagle feather, dancing in his behalf
The wild old dances of our youth.

Good-bye, my friend, I said, watching the clouds
Crumble into little pillows that fell as rain
Into the dryness of my fields.

"The Earth Called To My Friend" © 1972 by Nancy Wood
From "Hollering Sun," Simon & Schuster, 1972.
All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.