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A Birthday

(SSAA, piano) 3'00"



A rapturous declaration in praise of love. May be performed as part of a set of three. Level: Advanced.



Listen (mp3, 3.6 MB; Cantala of Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; Phillip Swan conducting)



Listen and View: Livestream performance of the work's premiere at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, on November 9, 2012 by their fine women's chorus, Cantala, under the direction of Phillip Swan. Scroll 36:10 into the performance.



View PDF



Choral Score: $1.95 Add to Cart



Composer's Notes:

A Birthday is the third setting in the collection That Life Should Be! (Three Settings of American Women Poets), commissioned in 2011 by a consortium of intermediate and advanced treble choirs across the country. The individual titles are: The Grass So Little Has To Do (text by Emily Dickinson), The Wonder of It (text by Harriet Monroe), and A Birthday (text by Christina Rosetti).




by Christina RossettiĀ (1830-1894)


My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.