Nature: Wild Animals and plants
Here are the suggestions I received for wild animal and plant (other
than flower) songs. Many thanks to everyone who replied.
Benedicite by Andrew Carter, Oxford Press
Here some selections:
Green Things SATB
Badgers and Hedgehogs (3 parts)
Ice and Snow SATB
Whales and Waters SATB
Butterflies and Moths unison
Director of Music/Organist
Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
13601 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070-----------
What an interesting search! I don't suppose cows are too wild, but
we have a very humorous work for adult a cappella choir (SATB)
entitled 'Dairy Suite'. The text is from the Carmina Gadelicka.
If you give your gentlemen a break, we also have a stunning
arrangement of 'She's Like the Swallow" for SSA, and another folk
song style work entitled, 'Willow Tree'.
Depending on when you require your repertoire, one of our new
releases this year is a work also for SSA entitled 'Grasshoppers and
Fireflies'. (not yet in print - scheduled for April, 2006)
Oceanna Music Publication
A quick scan of recent programs suggests
Frank Bridge The Bee
Steven Leek Ngana
Orlando Gibbons The Silver Swan
Edward Chapman The Three Ravens
Josquin de Pres El Grillo
Norman Luboff Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
Charles Villiers Stanford The Blue Bird
Eric Whitacre little tree
Stephen Heitzig little tree (accompanied)
Kirke Mecham Birds at Dusk
Donald James Bushes and Briars
Z. Randall Stroope Old Horatius Had a Farm
John M. Crowell
Sacramento Master Singers
I have composed Rabbit Skunk. The poem is by a fifth grader:
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit come out of your hole
Skipity scopity skipity scop skipity scopity
hop hop hop come out come out
little rabbit come out Come Out.
Please I will grant you a wish for a fish
a million bugs for a great big hug.
Okay, I'll come out. SPRAY
ehew, gross, a skunk
oh man, now I have to soak in
The duration is a bit over three minutes.
Piano accompaniment. It might be more
difficult than you want - the words hippety
hoppety are set as an extended fugue.
I would be glad to send you a copy - the
recording I have is of a treble version.
The poem is a little weak on biological
details - I am not convinced that rabbits
eat bugs. But perhaps it would suit your theme.
Below is a concert outline we did a few years ago all about animals.
The first piece, by yours truly, is on a poem by Wendell Berry. The
Basses go down to a low D. It's not too hard, and it's short. If
you'd like a copy let me know.- - be glad to share it.
Artistic Dir. - The Stonewall Chorale, NYC
Stonewall Pride Concert
The Peace of Wild Things
Elliot Z. Levine
Contrappunto bestiale alla mente
Il bianco e dolce cigno
The Silver Swan
Orlando Gibbons (1583 - 1625)
El Grillo (The
Josquin des Pres (circa 1440-1521). Lerchengesang (Song of the Lark), op. 48
#4 Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
C. V. Stanford 1852 - 1924
John Tavener (b. 1944)
From Prayers from the Ark
Ivor Davies (1901-1971)
Prayer of the Little Bird
Prayer of the Mouse
Prayer of the Cat
William Mathias (1934-1992)
The Owl and the Pussycat
The Duck and the Kangaroo
The Pelican Chorus
The Lobster Quadrille
Irving Fine (1914-1962)
I Bought Me a Cat
Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Michelle Miller, soloist
Old Horatius Had a Farm
Z. Randall Stroope (b. 1953)
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?
Norman Luboff. (1917-1987)
J. Drew Picard, Narrator
Andrew Carter (b. 1939)----------------
This is ideally a matter for Musica database.
Go on musicanet.org and just enter the criteria that you describe,
adding as a keyword panther or lion or zebra or whatever...
Do not put ask for too many criteria at the same time. You will get a
better chance to see answers coming.
CNRS - CRISCO-Caen
Executive Director of Musica International------------
I was just about to suggest Edward MacDowell's "To a Wild Rose", and
then reread your post and saw "other than flowers". (The piece was
originally written as a piano solo, but words were later set to the
tune; sorry I can't tell you author, arranger, publisher.)
You might also consider Randall Thompson's "Frostiana", a set of
eight or ten of Robert Frost's poems set to music by Thomson.
"Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" is not especially _about_
flowers or domestic animals, but the poet's mare (who must "wonder
why we're stopping here", if I'm not misquoting) puts in an appearance.
And "The road not taken" is fairly explicitly about a wood in the
autumn ("Two roads diverged in a yellow wood": the only time a wood
would be aptly described as "yellow" in New Hampshire is around
October). Could readily contribute to a "biodiversity" theme.
Good luck! ~~ Don Burrill.---------
You might want to look at the Britten "Five Flower Songs"....not all
of them are actually about flowers, especially "Green Broom".
[THIS MESSAGE HAD ATTACHMENTS]
What a great program theme. Here are a few pieces of possible
interest. I've also written a setting of a poem by the Australian
poet Judith Wright entitled 'Rainforest' which I have only in
manuscript form (not in Finale). If you're interested in seeing it,
let me know and I could try scanning it in; the lyrics start 'The
forest glows and drips with green'.
Here's a quick guide to what I've sent you:
1. 'Fairy song' from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. This
fairy spell or charm lists a number of wild animals. At this point
the fairies are singing their queen, Titania, to sleep. 'Philomel'
in the chorus is the nightingale.
3. Under de stora träden (Under the tall trees). Atmospheric setting
of a Swedish poem. You can view the music and listen to a MIDI file
online at the Canasg web site www.canasg.com (click through to
catalogue, then to the 'new music' section)
4. Of ev'ry kinne tre (Of every kind of tree). Setting of a medieval
English lyric. In the first half the poet praises the hawthorn tree
and in the second uses the same poetic form to praise his
sweetheart. I could give you some guidance on medieval
pronunciation, or you could modernize throughout (perhaps replacing
'lemman' with 'sweetheart').
Finally: if you have a budget and would like to commission me, I
would love to write a little set of animal or plant pieces. I know
a bunch of lovely poems by Jean Kenward depicting bears, birds, deer,
and other animals - or could go in other directions.
Composer and Choral Musician
This piece is probably too challenging for the choir you are working
with, but for your "biodiversity" program you may be interested in my
SATB (a cappella) setting of The Tree by 19th Century American
transcendental poet Jones Very. The Tree was composed at the 2003
Oxford Summer Institutes at Lehigh, where I worked with Bob Chilcott
and where the piece received a reading by the Princeton Singers under
the direction of Steven Sametz. It was premiered by the American
University Chamber Singers on April 2, 2004, and you may hear their
performance on my website (www.gregbartholomew.com). In October 2004
the American University Chamber Singers performed the piece on tour
in Washington, DC, Toronto, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg & environs.
It doesn't fit iinto your parameters, but for your "wild plant"
like to send you a sample of Jeffrey Bishop's humorous *two-part* piece,
accompanied by "any bass instrument", called "Botanicals". It's for
children - but
grownups wouldn't be embarrassed by singing it. Four movements -
"Rapa Brassica" (those are turnips), "Waltz of the Weeds" (a take-off
of the Flowers), and "Nocturne" (the words begin, "Beware the villainous
vegetables all" -
Susan Brailove/Brichtmark Music, Inc.---------
I'm a partner in Canasg Music. We publish a cappella sheet music via
web - see
We're based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Columbus OH.
I can offer from our catalogue
* The Puddock - about a frog with a very high opinion of himself; in
Scots, but we could do a singable translation into standard English for
* Please to see the king - traditional English, from the New Year
of "hunting the wren".
* Villanelle de Noel - a simple but lovely arrangement of Scots verse
relating the legend of the robin's red breast (stained with blood when
he attempted to pull the nails from Christ's hands and feet).
With best regards,
P.S. Canasg is about to revise its pricing, and we could offer you our
"new deal" if it suits you. That's a price related to the size of your
ensemble, for which you can make as many copies of the music as you
please, provided that you keep them for your own use and don't sell or
give or lend them to other groups.--------