for SSA a cappella choir


This piece was written for Shan-Ming Yu, conductor of various choirs throughout Taiwan. Though first conceived as music for an advanced children's choir, this piece developed into music that is well-suited for adult SSA choirs. Second sopranos often sing divisi, and there are some instances of changing meter and advanced harmony. The overriding effect, however, is pure, simple and lyrical.

The words for Floating are based on an original poem called Song for the Children which was slightly modified for this piece. The unmodified poem is what appears below these notes.

(performance duration ca. 6 minutes)

Song for the Children

Did you ever float,
in your dreams,
high up in the sky?

Yesterday I flew,
in my dreams,
above where birds can fly.

So quiet and so still,
drifting through the air,
I floated up until
I could see just where
our island home was floating
on a clear and sparkling sea.

So happy I could see
all the beauty of
our green and growing world,
I was filled with love
and I said I would return
just to tell you what I'd seen.

But as I drifted near
I could hear the sound
of people making noise,
driving all around,
crowding, pushing, fighting,
and being very rude.

People threw out garbage
where only plants should grow,
while cities poured their sewers
in the river's quiet flow.
Crowding, pushing, fighting,
they made me want to cry.

I was very sad,
when I awoke,
lying on my bed,
hearing all the noise,
from in the street,
pounding through my head.

"Dreams are never real",
some would say.
Yet tonight I will fly!

Come with me and feel,
in your dreams,
that happy peace way up high.


(Poem © 2003 Paul SanGregory)