A Free Song

Cantata by William Howard Schuman (1910 - 1992)

Word count: 86

1. Long, too long America

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Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys and prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from [crises]1 of anguish,
[    advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse really are?) ]2

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1 Schuman: "cries"
2 omitted by Schuman.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Look down, fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods, on faces ghastly, swollen, purple;
On the dead, on their backs, with [their]1 arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.

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1 omitted by Rands.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Song of the banner [sung text checked 1 time]

O, a new song, a free song,
Flapping, flapping, flapping, flapping, by sounds, by voices clearer,
By the wind's voice,
By the banner's voice, and child's voice, and sea's voice, and father's voice,
Low on the ground and high in the air,
Where the banner at daybreak is flapping.

We hear and see not strips of cloth alone;
We hear again the tramp of armies,
We hear the drums beat, and the trumpets blowing,
We hear the jubilant shouts of millions of men,
We hear liberty.

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Note: based on stanzas 1 and 12

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]