Play with Your Food!

Published by Walton Music
Catalog # HL 08501682 (Walton #

SATB divisi, a cappella
Secular texts in English by May Swenson, Sidney Hoddes, and Grey Held
Duration: seven minutes
Difficulty rating (1-5): 4

I. Summer’s Bounty
II. Mashed Potato/Love Song
III. Vending Machine
 listen to Summer's Bounty
 listen to Mashed Potato Love Song
 listen to Vending Machine

erformed by the Oregon State University Chamber Singers,
directed by Steven Zielke

This whole group of songs started out with my setting of Summer’s Bounty, which was read through by the Princeton Singers at the Oxford Institute in 2003. Even with what I thought were attempts at being subtle, the read-through produced many guffaws and chortles from the chorus and the piece gained a certain quirky notoriety amongst those in attendance. The piece is dedicated to Nancy Menk, who I thought could use some light entertainment in her whirlwind world.  Nancy premiered the SATB (original) version of Play with your Food! March 6, 2005 with the South Bend Chamber Singers. Vox Caelestis premiered the treble version in Spring 2004.

Complete perusal score available upon request.

What others say:
"...the piece is great fun, so witty and clever and well written. Well done!!" 
Emily Ellsworth
Artistic Director of the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus

Weblog of Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago A Cappella
by Jonathan Miller on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 6:31pm.
"...A longtime patron was having a big birthday, and his wife hired us to go the Unitarian Church of Evanston for a surprise party and concert.  Sometimes it's hard to know if you're affecting someone, but this was not one of those times. The fortunate birthday boy, Craig, sat up in the front row, enjoying all of it.  One of the requests was the hilarious song by Paul Carey, "Mashed Potato/Love Poem" from the cycle "Play With Your Food!"  We hadn't sung it in a few years, and it was wonderful to once again witness that song's effect on an audience.

[And the response posted by Judith, Craig’s husband]
Almost two weeks later, Craig is still talking about the performance and how moved he was and so are our friends. He laughed so hard at the Mashed Potato song that he couldn't catch his breath and tears were streaming down his face..."

on YouTube:
An outstanding performance by these young people:  Reservoir High School Madrigals, Maryland, Dec 2008

Mashed Potato Love Song

Summer's Bounty



I. Summer’s Bounty by May Swenson
berries of Straw apples of Crab beans of Lima
berries of Goose apples of May beans of Jelly
berries of Huckle apples of Pine beans of Green
berries of Dew apples of Love beans of Soy
berries of Boisen nuts of Pea melons of Water
berries of Black nuts of Wal melons of Musk
berries of Rasp nuts of Hazel cherries of Pie
berries of Blue nuts of Chest cherries of Choke
berries of Mul nuts of Brazil glories of Morning
berries of Cran nuts of Monkey rooms of Mush
berries of Elder nuts of Pecan days of Dog
berries of Haw nuts of Grape puppies of Hush

II. Mashed Potato/Love Poem by Sidney Hoddes
If I ever had to choose between you
and a third helping of mashed potato,
(whipped lightly with a fork
not whisked,
and a little pool of butter
melting in the middle...)

I think
I’d choose
the mashed potato.

But I’d choose you next.

III. Vending Machine by Grey Held
Let me do It!, he shouts.
I take the coins from my pocket,
and he counts out the quarters—three, four:
I pick him up so he can slide
the money in. He pushes the buttons:
K—I whisper,
10— I whisper. Out falls
the package of peanut butter crackers.

He grabs it from me, yanks
the little red string that opens the wrapper
and it falls to the floor. He unglues
the top half of a sandwich,
scrapes the peanut butter off
with his teeth, his tongue, polishing
the cracker into the soggy circle
he hands to me. Your half, he says
and I take it.






Click to See pdf Score
  (SATB - partial score)

Order Info

        RETURN TO:

  Mixed Chorus
  Treble Chorus
  Children's Chorus
  Male Chorus

  Solo Voice

  Winter Holidays

  Commisioned Works

  Index of Titles