Things That Go Bump in the Night (Chamber Version)

SSA, piano, flute (children's choir)

A courageous and funny journey from dusk to dawn, written with students from a Syracuse elementary school. Opening with lulling night sounds and concluding with the next morning's conquered fears, this three-movement work includes a suspenseful ghost story full of special effects.

Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
Commissioned By: 
The Society for New Music, Composers-in-the-Schools Residency Program. Syracuse, NY

Bellevue Park State School Chorus; Rebecca Muino, conductor. Gold Coast Eisteddfod, Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA
St. Paul Conservatory Children's Choir; J. David Moore, conductor. Saint Paul, MN
Choirs of Scuola di Musica di Fiesole; Joan Yakkey, conductor. Florence, ITALY

Text Author or Source: 
Elizabeth Alexander

"Things That Go Bump In the Night"
Lyrics by composer Elizabeth Alexander,
with students at Edward Smith Elementary School

I. And the moon is listening...

I lie in bed at night and listen.
Doors creak and walls moan,
Faucets drip and the house is settling.
And the moon is listening...
I lie in bed at night and listen.
Mice creep and clocks tick,
Cars send signals across my ceiling.
And the moon is listening...
My cats go bumpity-bump all night,
On the table knocking things down! Bumpity-bumpity-bumpity-bumpity-bump!
I lie in bed at night and listen.
Snow falls and branches sway,
Wind chimes clatter in the breeze.
And the moon is listening...And I drift to sleep...

II. There it is again!

Cracking lumber
Wakes me from my slumber,
And my fear is born.
Sky and clouds brawl,
Simple things make my skin crawl,
And I feel anything but warm.
I hold my breath and dare not make a peep.
I try to go back to sleep.
I can't go back to sleep...

Scratch Scrunchity Scritch - What's that?
I hear a creaking and a moaning,
Souls in agony are groaning.
There it is again!

Scratch Scrunchity Scritch - Who's there?
It's getting louder, and louder, and louder!

Is it alive or is it dead?
Something's creeping under my bed!
Is it a horseman without a head?
I want to scream for my mom and dad!
There it is again!

Scratch Scrunchity Scritch
I feel my hair rising... rising... higher and higher to the roof!
I'm (BUMP) - I'm (BUMP) - I'm so scared I can't open my eyes!
I'm (BUMP) - I'm (BUMP) - I'm so scared I jump out of my Pjs!
I'm (BUMP) - I'm (BUMP) - I'm so scared I start to grow a beard!
I'm (BUMP) - I'm (BUMP) - I'm...

Open the door to my closet.
Trying to find what could cause it.
Is it a spider on a string?
Is it a big green gooey thing?
Is it a vampire whose teeth go cling?
There it is again!
I feel my house shaking...shaking...shaking...No, I'm shaking!

A roar and a rip and then I know
It's a... it's a... it's a...
And it's coming closer, and closer, and closer, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! It opens up my door! Its eyes turn red! And it's coming towards me and I hear this noise...

(Adult voice, spoken:) GET BACK IN BED!

(Tutti:) I turn on the light, not a shadow in sight -
So I go back to sleep, and I don't hear a peep.

III. Things That Go Bump in the Night

I pull the covers from my face,
and glance around the room.
The light of dawn reveals no trace
that I had been visited by creatures of doom.
Things that go bump in the night just might
make somebody get light with fright.
They get so scared that they might be cared
by the things that go bump in the night.
But they know it isn't true,
And hopefully so do you.

© 1997 by Elizabeth Alexander