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The LiederNet Archive

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The Jungle Book

Word count: 1548

Song Cycle by Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882 - 1961)

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1. The fall of the stone [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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   From the unpublished papers of McIntosh Jallaludin

By the Hoof of the Wild Goat uptossed
From the cliff where she lay in the Sun
Fell the Stone
To the Tarn where the daylight is lost,
So she fell from the light of the Sun,
And alone!

Now the fall was ordained from the first
With the Goat and the Cliff and the Tarn,
But the Stone
Knows only her life is accursed
As she sinks in the depths of the Tarn,
And alone!

O Thou Who hast builded the World,
O Thou Who hast lighted the Sun,
O Thou Who hast darkened the Tarn,
Judge Thou
The sin of the Stone that was hurled
By the Goat from the light of the Sun,
As she sinks in the mire of the Tarn,
Even now - even now - even now!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Morning song in the jungle [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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One moment past our bodies cast
No shadow on the plain;
Now clear and black they stride our track,
And we run home again.
In morning-hush, each rock and bush
Stands hard, and high, and raw:
Then give the Call: "Good rest to all
That keep the Jungle Law!"

Now horn and pelt our peoples melt
In covert to abide;
Now crouched and still, to cave and hill
Our Jungle Barons glide.
Now, stark and plain, Man's oxen strain,
That draw the new-yoked plough;
Now striped and dread the dawn is red
Above the lit talao.1

Ho! Get to lair! The sun's aflare
Behind the breathing grass:
And creaking through the young bamboo
The warning whispers pass.
By day made strange, the woods we range
With blinking eyes we scan;
While down the skies the wild duck cries:
"The Day - the Day to Man!"

The dew is dried that drenched our hide,
Or washed about our way;
And where we drank, the puddled bank
Is crisping into clay.
The traitor Dark gives up each mark
Of stretched or hooded claw:
Then hear the Call: "Good rest to all
That keep the Jungle Law!"


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1 pond or lake

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Night song in the jungle [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE

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 Now Chil the Kite brings home the night
 That Mang the Bat sets free -
 The herds are shut in byre and hut,
 For loosed till dawn are we.
 This is the hour of pride and power,
 Talon and tush and claw.
 Oh, hear the call! - Good hunting all
 That keep the Jungle Law!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The Inuit [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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The People of the Eastern Ice, they are melting like the snow -
They beg for coffee and sugar; they go where the white men go.
The People of the Western Ice, they learn to steal and fight:
They sell their furs to the trading-post: they sell their soul to the white.

The People of the Southern Ice, they trade with the whaler's crew;
Their women have many ribbons, but their tents are torn and few.
But the People of the Elder Ice, beyond the white man's ken -
Their spears are made of the narwhal horn, and they are the last of Men!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The beaches of Lukannon [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I met my mates in the morning (and oh, but I am old!)
Where roaring on the ledges the summer ground-swell rolled;
I heard them lift the chorus that drowned the breakers' song -
The Beaches of Lukannon - two million voices strong!

The song of pleasant stations beside the salt lagoons,
The song of blowing squadrons that shuffled down the dunes,
The song of midnight dances that churned the sea to flame -
The Beaches of Lukannon - before the sealers came!

I meet my mates in the morning, a broken, scattered band.
Men shoot us in the water and club us on the land;
Men drive us to the Salt House like silly sheep and tame,
And still we sing Lukannon - before the sealers came.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Red dog [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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For our white and our excellent nights - for the nights of swift running,
Fair ranging, far-seeing, good hunting, sure cunning!
For the smells of the dawning, untainted, ere dew has departed!
For the rush through the mist, and the quarry blind-started!
For the cry of our mates when the sambhur'1 has wheeled and is standing at bay,
For the risk and the riot of night!
For the sleep at the lair-mouth by day -
It is met, and we go to the fight.
Bay! O Bay!


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1 elk found in forest-clad parts of India

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. The Peora hunt [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Pit where the buffalo cooled his hide,
By the hot sun emptied, and blistered and dried;
Long in the reh-grass, hidden and lone;
Bund1 where the earth-rat's mounds are strown;
Cave in the bank where the sly stream steals;
Aloe that stabs at the belly and heels,
Jump if you dare on a steed untried -
Safer it is to go wide - go wide!
Hark, from in front where the best men ride; -
"Pull to the off, boys! Wide! Go wide!"


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1 a dam

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Hunting-song of the Seeonee Pack [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
  Once, twice and again!
And a doe leaped up, and a doe leaped up
From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup.
This I, scouting alone, beheld,
  Once, twice and again!

As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
  Once, twice and again!
And a wolf stole back, and a wolf stole back
To carry the word to the waiting pack,
And we sought and we found and we bayed on his track
  Once, twice and again!

As the dawn was breaking the Wolf-Pack yelled
  Once, twice and again!
Feet in the Jungle that leave no mark!
Eyes that can see in the dark - the dark!
Tongue - give tongue to it! Hark! Oh, Hark!
  Once, twice and again!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Tiger! Tiger! [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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 What of the hunting, hunter bold?
   Brother, the watch was long and cold.
 What of the quarry ye went to kill?
   Brother, he crops in the Jungle still.

 Where is the power that made your pride?
   Brother, it ebbs from my flank and side.
 Where is the haste that ye hurry by?
   Brother, I go to my lair - to die!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. The only son [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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[She dropped the bar, she shot the bolt, she fed the fire anew,
For she heard a whimper under the sill and a great grey paw came through.
The fresh flame comforted the hut and shone on the roof beam,]1
And the Only Son lay down again and dreamed that he dreamed a dream.
[The last ash fell from the withered log with the click of a falling spark,
And the Only Son woke up again, and called across the dark: - ]1
"Now was I born of womankind and laid in a mother's breast?
For I have dreamed of a shaggy hide whereon I went to rest.
And was I born of womankind and laid on a father's arm?
For I have dreamed of clashing teeth that guarded me from harm.

"And was I born an Only Son and did I play alone?
For I have dreamed of comrades twain that bit me to the bone.
And did I break the barley-cake and steep it in the tyre?
For I have dreamed of a youngling kid new-riven from the byre:
For I have dreamed of a midnight sky and a midnight call to blood
And red-mouthed shadows racing by, that thrust me from my food.
'Tis an hour yet and an hour yet to the rising of the moon,
But I can see the black roof-tree as plain as it were noon.
'Tis a league and a league to the Lena Falls where the trouping blackbuck go;
But I can hear the little fawn that bleats behind the doe.
'Tis a league and a league to the Lena Falls where the crop and the upland meet,
But I can smell the wet dawn-wind that wakes the sprouting wheat.
Unbar the door, I may not bide, but I must out and see
If those are wolves that wait outside or my own kin to me!"

She loosed the bar, she slid the bolt, she opened the door anon,
And a grey bitch-wolf came out of the dark and fawned on the Only Son!


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1 omitted by Grainger.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. Mowgli's song against people [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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I will let loose against you the fleet-footed vines -
I will call in the Jungle to stamp out your lines!
The roofs shall fade before it,
The house-beams shall fall;
And the Karela1, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!

In the gates of these your councils my people shall sing.
In the doors of these your garners the Bat-folk shall cling;
And the snake shall be your watchman,
By a hearthstone unswept;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall fruit where ye slept!

Ye shall not see my strikers; ye shall hear them and guess;
By night, before the moon-rise, I will send for my cess2,
And the wolf shall be your herdsman
By a landmark removed;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall seed where ye loved!

I will reap your fields before you at the hands of a host;
Ye shall glean behind my reapers for the bread that is lost;
And the deer shall be your oxen
On a headland untilled;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall leaf where ye build!

I have untied against you the club-footed vines,
I have sent in the Jungle to swamp out your lines.
The trees - the trees are on you!
The house-beams shall fall;
For the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover [you] it all!


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1 a wild melon
2 an Indian tax

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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