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From a child's garden

Word count: 833

Song Cycle by Malcolm Benjamin Graham Christopher Williamson (b. 1931)

Show the texts alone (bare mode).

1. Time to rise [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Ora di alzarsi", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon the window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
"Ain't you 'shamed, you sleepy-head?"


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Marching song [ sung text checked 1 time]

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]

3. Where go the boats? [ sung text checked 1 time]

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

4. Looking forward [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

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


When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Whole duty of children [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "I doveri di ogni bambino", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


A child should always say what's true
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table:
At least as far as he is able.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. The flowers [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock,

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames -
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Rain [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

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


The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. My bed is a boat [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Il mio letto è una nave", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


My bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I embark;
She girds me in my sailor's coat
And starts me in the dark.

At night, I go on board and say
Good night to all my friends on shore;
I shut my eyes and sail away
And see and hear no more.

And sometimes things to bed I take,
As prudent sailors have to do:
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake,
Perhaps a toy or two.

All night across the dark we steer:
But when the day returns at last,
Safe in my room, beside the pier,
I find my vessel fast.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. From a railway carriage [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging [along]1 like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Morawetz, Williamson: "alone" (?) (needs re-checking)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. The lamplighter [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

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


My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight.


Submitted by Ted Perry

11. A good boy [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE FRE

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  • 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

12. Happy thought [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): ITA

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

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


The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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