More daisies: new songs of childhood

Song Cycle by Liza Lehmann (1862 - 1918)

Word count: 1249

1. Up into the cherry tree [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]

2. A moral [sung text not yet checked]

Children, you are very little,
And your bones are very brittle;
If you would grow great and stately,
You must try to walk sedately.
  
You must still be bright and quiet,
And content with simple diet;
And remain, through all bewild'ring,
Innocent and honest children.
  
Happy hearts and happy faces,
Happy play in grassy places --
That was how, in ancient ages,
Children grew to kings and sages.
  
But the unkind and the unruly,
And the sort who eat unduly,
They must never hope for glory --
Theirs is quite a different story!
  
Cruel children, crying babies,
All grow up as geese and gabies,
Hated, as their age increases,
By their nephews and their nieces.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. For good luck [sung text checked 1 time]

Little Kings and Queens of the May,
Listen to me!
If you want to be
Every one of you very good
In that beautiful, beautiful, beautiful wood,
Where the little birds' heads get so turned with delight,
That some of them sing all night:
Whatever you pluck,
Leave some for good luck;
Picked from the stalk, or pulled up by the root,
From overhead, or from underfoot,
Water-wonders of pond or brook;
Wherever you look,
And whatever you find --
Leave something behind:
Some for the Naïads,
Some for the Dryads,
And a bit for the Nixies, and the Pixies.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Goodnight and good morning [sung text checked 1 time]

A fair little girl sat under a tree,
Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
Then smoothed her work, and folded it right,
And said, "Dear work, good night! good night!"

Such a number of rooks came over her head,
Crying, "Caw! Caw!" on their way to bed;
She said, as she watched their curious flight,
"Little black things, good night! good night!"

The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed,
The sheep's "Bleat! bleat!" came over the road;
All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,
"Good little girl, good night! good night!"

She did not say to the sun, "Good night!"
Though she saw him there like a ball of light,
For she knew he had God's time to keep
All over the world, and never could sleep.

The tall pink foxglove bowed his head,
The violets curtsied and went to bed;
And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
And said on her knees her favourite prayer.

And while on her pillow she softly lay,
She knew nothing more till again it was day;
And all things said to the beautiful sun,
"Good morning! good morning! our work is begun!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Every night my prayers I say [sung text not yet checked]

Every night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I've been good,
I get an orange after food.

The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure --
Or else his dear papa is poor.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. In dreamland [sung text not yet checked]

Oh tell me pretty Alice
 . . . . . . . . . .

— The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

7. The cuckoo [sung text not yet checked]

The Cuckoo sat in the old pear-tree,
  Cuckoo!
Raining or snowing, nought cared he.
  Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, nought cared he.

The Cuckoo flew over a housetop high.
  Cuckoo!
"Dear, are you at home, for here am I?
  Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, here am I."

"I dare not open the door to you.
  Cuckoo!
Perhaps you are not the right cuckoo?
  Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cukoo, the right Cuckoo!"

"I am the right Cuckoo, the proper one.
  Cuckoo!
For I am my father's only son,
  Cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, his only son."

"If you are your father's only son -
  Cuckoo!
The bobbin pull tightly,
Come through the door lightly -
  Cuckoo!

"If you are your father's only son -
  Cuckoo!
It must be you, the only one -
Cuckoo, cuckoo, my own Cuckoo!
  Cuckoo!"

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. 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]

9. 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]

10. The captain [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

11. A child's prayer [sung text checked 1 time]

God make my life a little light,
  Within the world to glow, --
A tiny flame that burneth bright,
  Wherever I may go.

God make my life a little flower,
  That giveth joy to all; --
Content to bloom in native bower
  Although its place be small.

God make my life a little song,
  That comforteth the sad;
That helpeth others to be strong,
  And makes the singer glad.

God make my life a little staff
  Whereon the weak may rest, --
That so what health and strength I have
  May serve my neighbor best.

God make my life a little hymn
  Of tenderness and praise, --
Of faith, that never waxeth dim,
  In all His wondrous ways.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Fairy chimes [sung text not yet checked]

You cannot count the blue-bells
 . . . . . . . . . .

— The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author