A Child's Garland of Songs

Song Cycle by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

Word count: 1017

1. Bed in summer [sung text not yet checked]

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?

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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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Pirate story [sung text not yet checked]

Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,
  Three of us abroad in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
  And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.

Where shall we adventure, today that we're afloat,
  Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
  To Providence, or Babylon or off to Malabar?

Hi! but here's a squadron a-rowing on the sea --
  Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and we'll escape them, they're as mad as they can be,
  The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Foreign lands [sung text not yet checked]

Up into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad in foreign lands.

I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.

I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.

If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,

To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.

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First published in Magazine of Art, September 1884

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Windy nights [sung text checked 1 time]

Whenever the moon and the stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.

Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,

By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Nuit venteuse", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

5. Where go the boats? [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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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

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

6. My shadow [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Marching song [sung text not yet checked]

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.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. Foreign children [sung text not yet checked]

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?

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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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

9. My ship and me [sung text not yet checked]

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!

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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

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller