Rain Music

SAB choir & piano

Text by Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.

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Rain Music

On the dusty earth-drum

  Beats the falling rain;

Now a whispered murmur,

  Now a louder strain.

 

Slender, silvery drumsticks,        

  On an ancient drum,

Beat the mellow music

  Bidding life to come.

 

Chords of earth awakened,

  Notes of greening spring,        

Rise and fall triumphant

  Over every thing.

 

Slender, silvery drumsticks

  Beat the long tattoo—

God, the Great Musician,        

  Calling life anew.

Program Notes

The text is by African American poet Joseph S. Cotter, Jr., who before his death at an early age was said to have the potential to be the next great poet of his generation. The natural imagery of rain falling on dry earth brings to mind ideas of seasons and cycles of nature, and goes on to evoke feelings of personal renewal, perseverance, and overcoming obstacles. As I was writing the music, I thought about people in my life who are triumphing over something.

Premiered by Sabathani Vintage Voices, directed by Rob Graham

Sabathani Community Center, Minneapolis MN, 2018