Four Child Songs

Song Cycle by Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953)

Word count: 439

1. A good child [sung text checked 1 time]

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.

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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

2. The lamplighter [sung text checked 1 time]

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight.

Authorship

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Paolo Montanari) , "Il lampionaio", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Where go the boats? [sung text checked 1 time]

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.

Authorship

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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

4. 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?

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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]