The Stevenson Song-Book

Word count: 1166

?. A good boy [sung text not yet checked]

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.

Authorship

Set by by Homer Newton Bartlett (1845 - 1920), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Sylvain Labartette) , "Un gentil garçon", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. My bed is a boat [sung text not yet checked]

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.

Authorship

Set by by William Wallace Gilchrist (1846 - 1916), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Land of Nod [sung text not yet checked]

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do --
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are these for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Authorship

Set by by William Wallace Gilchrist (1846 - 1916), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The 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!

Authorship

Set by by (Henry Louis) Reginald De Koven (1859 - 1920), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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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]

?. Farewell to the farm [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!

Authorship

Set by by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 - 1931), published 1892 [ voice and piano ]

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Singing [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.

Authorship

Set by by Charles Beach Hawley (1858 - 1915), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Land of Story-Books [sung text not yet checked]

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.

Authorship

Set by by Homer Newton Bartlett (1845 - 1920), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The wind [sung text not yet checked]

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass -- 
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all -- 
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
  O wind, a-blowing all day long,
  O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Authorship

Set by by (Henry Louis) Reginald De Koven (1859 - 1920), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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First published in Magazine of Art, July 1884

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Young night thought [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.

Authorship

Set by by Arthur Foote (1853 - 1937), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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View original text (without footnotes)

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]

?. Singing [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.

Authorship

Set by by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 - 1931), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Land of Counterpane [sung text not yet checked]

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Authorship

Set by by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 - 1931), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

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First published in Magazine of Art, July 1884

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The sun's travels [sung text not yet checked]

The sun is not a-bed, when I
At night upon my pillow lie;
Still round the earth his way he takes,
And morning after morning makes.

While here at home, in shining day,
We round the sunny garden play,
Each little Indian sleepy-head
Is being kissed and put to bed.

And when at eve I rise from tea,
Day dawns beyond the Atlantic Sea;
And all the children in the west
Are getting up and being dressed.

Authorship

Set by by Arthur Foote (1853 - 1937), published 1897 [ voice and piano ]

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]