The daisy chain: twelve songs of childhood

Song Cycle by Liza Lehmann (1862 - 1918)

Word count: 1642

1. Foreign children [sung text checked 1 time]

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?

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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]

2. Fairies [sung text checked 1 time]

At twilight in beautiful summers,
When all the dew is shed,
And all the singers and hummers
Are safe at home in bed,
In many a nook of the meadows
Fairies may linger and lurk;
Look under the [low]1 grass-shadows,
Perhaps [you'll]2 see them at work.

Perhaps you'll see them swinging
On see-saw reeds in the dells;
Perhaps you'll hear them ringing
The sweet little heather-bells;
Or setting the lilies steady,
Before they begin to grow;
Or getting the rosebuds ready
Before it is time to blow.

[ ... ]

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lehmann: "long"
2 Lehmann: "you may"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Keepsake Mill [sung text checked 1 time]

[ ... ]

Here is the mill with the humming of thunder,
  Here is the weir with the wonder of foam,
Here is the sluice with the race running under --
  Marvellous places, though handy to home!

Sounds of the village grow stiller and stiller,
  Stiller the note of the birds on the hill;
Dusty and dim are the eyes of the miller,
  Deaf are his ears with the moil of the mill.

Years may go by, and the wheel in the river
  Wheel as it wheels for us, children, to-day,
Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever
  Long after all of the boys are away.

Home from the Indies and home from the ocean,
  Heroes and soldiers we all shall come home;
Still we shall [find]1 the old mill wheel in motion,
  Turning and churning [that]2 river to foam.

[ ... ]

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lehmann: "hear"
2 Lehmann: "the"

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

4. If no one ever marries me [sung text checked 1 time]

If no one ever marries me -
And I don't see why they should,
For nurse says I'm not pretty,
And I'm seldom very good -

If no one ever marries me
I shan't mind very much,
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage
And a little rabbit-hutch;

I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own
And a little lamb, quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town.

And when I'm getting really old -
At twenty-eight or nine -
I shall buy a little orphan-girl
And bring her up as mine.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Stars [sung text checked 1 time]

The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
  Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
  There were thousands [of]1 millions of stars.
There ne'er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
  Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
  And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
  And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
  Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
  And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
  And the stars going round in my head.

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

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lehmann: "and"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

6. Seeing the world [sung text not yet checked]

Rosy, posy and little clover
 . . . . . . . . . .

— 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 ship that sailed into the sun [sung text checked 1 time]

They said my brother's ship went down,
            Down into the sea,
Because a storm came on to drown
            The biggest ships that be;

But I saw the ship, when he went away
            I saw it pass and pass.
The tide was low; I went out to play;
            The sea was all like glass.

The ship sailed straight into the sun,
            Half of a ball of gold.
Onward it went till it touched the sun,
            I saw the ship take hold!

But soon I saw them both no more,
            The sun and the ship together,
            For the wind began to hoot and to roar,
And there was stormy weather.

Yet every day the golden ball
            Rests on the edge of the sky;
The sun it is, with the ship and all,
            For the ship sailed into the golden ball
Across the edge of the sky.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

8. The swing [sung text checked 1 time]

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]

9. Mustard and cress [sung text checked 1 time]

Elizabeth, my cousin, is the sweetest little girl,
From her eyes, like dark blue pansies, to her tiniest golden curl:
I do not use her great long name, but simply call her 'Bess',
And yesterday I planted her in Mustard and in Cress.

My garden is so narrow that there's very little room,
But I'd rather have her name than get a hollyhock to bloom;
And before she comes to visit us with Charlie and with Tess,
She'll pop up green and bonny out of Mustard and of Cress.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

10. The moon [sung text checked 1 time]

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;	 
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.
  
The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.
  
But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

11. Thank you very much indeed [sung text checked 1 time]

Thank you very much indeed,
River, for your waving reed;
Hollyhocks, for budding knobs;
Foxgloves, for your velvet fobs;          
Pansies, for your silky cheeks;
Chaffinches, for singing beaks;
Spring, for wood anemones
Near the mossy toes of trees;
Summer, for the fruited pear,
Yellowing crab, and cherry fare;
Autumn, for the bearded load,
Hazelnuts along the road;
Winter, for the fairy-tale,
Spitting log and bouncing hail.

But, blest Father, high above,
All these joys are from Thy love;
And Your children everywhere,
Born in palace, lane, or square,
Cry with voices all agreed,
"Thank You very much indeed."

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

12. Blind man's buff [sung text not yet checked]

Ah! catch me, if you can!
 . . . . . . . . . .

— 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