A Child's Garden

Song Cycle by Joseph Groocock

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?. All night long and every night [sung text not yet checked]

All night long and every night,
When my mama puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day, before my eye.

Armies and [emperors]1 and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.

So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
[For]2 every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.

At first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside [them]4 close I keep
Until we reach the town of Sleep.

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Confirmed with Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods, New York, Current Literature, 1913.

1 Hadley: "emperor"
2 omitted by F. Rzewski
4 Hadley: "me"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Poom Andrew Pipatjarasgit [Guest Editor]

?. Of speckled eggs the birdie sings [sung text not yet checked]

Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
And nests among the trees;
The sailor sings of ropes and things
In ships upon the seas. 

The children sing in far Japan,
The children sing in Spain;
The organ with the organ man
Is singing in the rain.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Dark brown is the river [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

?. How do you like to go up in a swing [sung text not yet checked]

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!

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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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing [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]

?. The coach is at the door at last [sung text not yet checked]

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!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]