Alcott Songs (Soprano & Piano)

Alcott Songs[Page].jpg
Alcott Songs[Page].jpg

Alcott Songs (Soprano & Piano)


A song cycle for soprano and piano of six short pieces, with clever, playful texts by Louisa May Alcott. From the light, dance-like opening to the soft, dreamy lullaby at the close, these songs are organized to depict a carefree summer day.

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Printed Score: $24
Digital PDF Score: $24


Soprano and Piano
Year of Composition: 2013
Length: 12:00 

Program Note

I really enjoy the poetry of Louisa May Alcott, and I decided to create a song cycle comprised of six of her relatively short poems.  I tried to pull together poems that are particularly fun, witty, and whimsical.

As I began choosing these texts, I realized that it would be fun to organize them in a way that could depict a summer day: the first poem opens with “Awake! Awake!”  The second talks about jumping among lilipads.  The third describes flowers.  The fourth portrays a squirrel and his acorn adventures.  The fifth seems to be about bees or another animal in a sort of dream-like story, so I picture this as the point at which we are dosing off to sleep.  And the sixth and final poem is a lovely lullaby text. 

I tried to create music that matched the nature of each text, so in many cases it is fun and lighthearted, until we reach the more dream-like music of the fifth poem, and the lullaby at the end.

Also available for soprano and chamber winds here


All poems by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Lily-Bell and Thistledown Song I

Awake! Awake! for the earliest gleam
Of golden sunlight shines
On the rippling waves, that brightly flow
Beneath the flowering vines.
Awake! Awake! for the low, sweet chant
Of the wild-birds’ morning hymn
Comes floating by on the fragrant air,
Through the forest cool and dim;
Then spread each wing,
And work, and sing,
Through the long, bright sunny hours;
O’er the pleasant earth
We journey forth,
For a day among the flowers.

Hello! Hello!

‘Hello! hello!
Come down below,–
It’s lovely and cool
Out here in the pool;
On a lily-pad float
For a nice green boat.
Here we sit and sing
In a pleasant ring;
Or leap frog play,
In the jolliest way.
Our games have begun,
Come join in the fun.’

Dear Grif

‘Dear Grif, Here is a whiff
Of beautiful spring flowers;
The big red rose Is for your nose,
As toward the sky it towers.
‘Oh, do not frown
Upon this crown
Of green pinks and blue geranium
But think of me
When this you see,
And put it on your cranium.’

Here’s A Nut

‘Here’s a nut, there’s a nut;
Hide it quick away,
In a hole, under leaves,
To eat some winter day.
Acorns sweet are plenty,
We will have them all:
Skip and scamper lively
Till the last ones fall.’

Don’t Drive Me Away

‘Don’t drive me away,
But hear what I say:
Bad men want the gold;
They will steal it to-night,
And you must take flight;
So be quiet and busy and bold.’
‘Slip away with me,
And you will see
What a wise little thing am I;
For the road I show
No man can know,
Since it’s up in the pathless sky.’


Now the day is done,
Now the shepherd sun
Drives his white flocks from the sky;
Now the flowers rest
On their mother’s breast,
Hushed by her low lullaby.
Now ‘mid shadows deep
Falls blessed sleep,
Like dew from the summer sky;
And the whole earth dreams,
In the moon’s soft beams,
While night breathes a lullaby.