Traditional American folk song text in Englishfficulty rating (1-5): 2.5
This is a
delightful American folk tune. Wonderfully Utopian images of
our dearly beloved fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters
paint a picture of the human family and society at its best.
And then for the text to add the children dancing at the end
-- what a delight.
Since this piece is so strophic the challenge was to create
verses that arenít the same over and over. There are some
knee jerk solutions I suppose, but I always heed Alice
Parkerís advice to avoid, like the plague, the dreaded half
step up modulation, even though there are publishers out
there whose every publication contains such beasts. So the
answer was to use different voicings (let just ďthe
brothersĒ sing about their sisters, etc), re-harmonize at
times, and, thankfully, a little inspiration of letting
those sweet little children dance the song out in a quicker,
very fun 5/8 with other odd meters tossed in (implying that
the children donít really care if they are doing proper
dance steps to a regular beat -- they just wiggle their
bodies around and have fun).
piece is dedicated to Chuck King, an ACDA R & S chair who
has been kind enough to include my music in a number of ACDA
Complete perusal score available upon request.
Bright morning stars are risin', bright
morning stars are risin',
bright mornin' stars are risin', day is
a-break in' in my soul.
Oh where are our dear fathers, oh where
are our dear fathers?
They are down in the valley pray-in', day
is a-breakin' in my soul.
And where are our dear mothers, oh where
are our dear mothers?
They've gone up to Heaven a-shout-in', day
is a-break-in' in my soul.
Oh where are our dear brothers, oh where
are our dear brothers?
They're across the valley work-in', day is
a-breakin' in my soul.
And where are our dear sisters, oh where
are our dear sisters?
They've gone a-way to Zion, day is a-breakin'
in my soul.
Oh where are our dear children, where are
our dear children?
They're by the stream a-dancin', day is a-breakin'
in my soul.