Critters: Several American Folk Songs
Premiere—1998, by the Summit Singers of Saint Paul Academy, Anne Klus, conductor, Saint Paul, MN.
Published by Yelton Rhodes Music: www.yrmusic.com
If, as Alan Lomax has suggested, a successful folk song must appeal to children, these songs about animals are assured of an enduring and endearing place in the folk repertoire. And what critters there are: four birds, at least three dogs, an indeterminate number of horses, a groundhog, a possum and a bat. There are nearly as many humans: four hunters, mom and dad, a baby and a pretty girl; at least twenty critters in all! Three songs are combined in quodlibet fashion in the first number. In the event of animal rights protests or vegetarian performance, tofu and veggies may be substituted for goose, hog and possum. In “Leatherwing Bat,” the doodling may if necessary be reinforced by or given over to woodwind instruments.
This work was one of several composed for St. Paul Academy and Summit School. See also: Three from the Sea, A New American Sampler and Esau Wood.
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