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Songs with Music from "A Child's Garden of Verses"

Word count: 1402

Song Cycle by Thomas Crawford

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Bed in summer [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Letto in estate", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


In winter I get up at night,
And dress by yellow candle light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?


Submitted by Ted Perry

2. Where go the boats? [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Dove vanno le barche?", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Dark brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating -
Where will all come home?

On goes the river
And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.

Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.


Submitted by Ted Perry

3. My shadow [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow --
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. A good boy [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Un gentil garçon", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I woke before the morning,
I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word,
but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun
is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy,
for I know that I've been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh,
with linen smooth and fair,
And I must off to sleep again,
and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till tomorrow
I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind,
no ugly sight my eyes,

But slumber hold me tightly
till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing
in the lilacs round the lawn.


Submitted by Ted Perry

5. Marching song [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Bring the comb and play upon it!
Marching, here we come!
Willie cocks his highland bonnet,
Johnnie beats the drum.

Mary Jane commands the party,
Peter leads the rear;
Feet in time, alert and hearty,
Each a Grenadier!

All in the most martial manner
Marching double-quick;
While the napkin like a banner
Waves upon the stick!

Here's enough of fame and pillage,
Great commander Jane!
Now that we've been round the village,
Let's go home again.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The wind [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass -- 
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all -- 
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!


First published in Magazine of Art, July 1884

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Foreign children [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Bambini stranieri", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanese,
O! don't you wish that you were me?

You have seen the scarlet trees
And the lions over seas;
You have eaten ostrich eggs,
And turned the turtles off their legs.

Such a life is very fine,
But it's not so nice as mine:
You must often, as you trod,
Have wearied not to be abroad.

You have curious things to eat,
I am fed on proper meat;
You must dwell beyond the foam,
But I am safe and live at home.

Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanese,
O! don't you wish that you were me?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. The swing [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "La balançoire", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


How do you like to go up in a swing,
  Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
  Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
  Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
  Over the countryside -

Till I look down on the garden green,
  Down on the roof so brown -
Up in the air I go flying again,
  Up in the air and down!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. Farewell to the farm [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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The coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
And kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

And fare you well for evermore,
O ladder at the hayloft door,
O hayloft where the cobwebs cling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

Crack goes the whip, and off we go;
The trees and houses smaller grow;
Last, round the woody turn we sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. My ship and I [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Moi et mon bateau", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


O it's I that am the captain of a tidy little ship
Of a ship that goes a sailing on the pond.
And my ship it keeps a turning all around and all about,
But when I'm a little older I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.

For I mean to grow as little as the dolly on the helm
And the dolly I intend to come alive
And with him beside to help me it's a sailing I shall go,
It's a sailing on the water where the jolly breezes blow
And the vessel goes a divie divie dive.

O it's then you'll see me sailing through the rushes and the reeds
And you'll hear the water singing at the prow.
For beside the dolly sailor I'm to voyage and explore
To land upon the island where no dolly was before
And I'll fire the penny cannon on the bow!


Submitted by Barbara Miller

11. My kingdom [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Down by a shining water well
I found a very little dell,
No higher than my head. 
The heather and the gorse about
In summer bloom were coming out,
Some yellow and some red. 

I called the little pool a sea;
The little hills were big to me;
For I am very small. 
I made a boat, I made a town,
I searched the caverns up and down,
And named them one and all. 

And all about was mine, I said,
The little sparrows overhead,
The little minnows too. 
This was the world and I was king;
For me the bees came by to sing,
For me the swallows flew. 

I played there were no deeper seas,
Nor any wider plains than these,
Nor other kings than me. 
At last I heard my mother call
Out from the house at evenfall,
To call me home to tea. 

And I must rise and leave my dell,
And leave my dimpled water well,
And leave my heather blooms. 
Alas! and as my home I neared,
How very big my nurse appeared,
How great and cool the rooms!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Picture-books in Winter [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Summer fading, winter comes
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story books.

All the pretty things put by
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story books.

How can I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney corner days,
Sitting safe in nurs'ry nooks,
Reading picture story books?


Submitted by Barbara Miller

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