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Never Again . . . Evermore (Children of the Nuclear Holocaust)

(SATB, treble solo, narrator, with (1) clarinet and string quartet; or (2) viola and piano) 7'38" logo


A powerful remembrance dedicated to children who are victims of war and especially those who died in nuclear holocaust. Mac Gimse's narrated poem and Kallman's Kyrie Eleison setting usher us through the horrors of the killing and destruction, bringing us at last to a plaintive and peaceful Dona Nobis Pacem.



Listen, clarinet and string quartet version (chamber choir and instrumentalists of Normandale Lutheran, Bloomington, MN; Sam Nelson, boy soprano; David Clarke, conductor)



View PDF (with clarinet and string quartet accompaniment)



View PDF (with viola and piano accompaniment)



Order Version 1:

SATB, treble solo, narrator, with clarinet and string quartet


Version 1 Full Score: $10.95 Add to Cart


Version 1 Choral Score: $2.95 Add to Cart


Version 1 Instrumental Parts: $35.00 Add to Cart



Order Version 2:

SATB, treble solo, narrator, with viola and piano


Version 2 Full/Choral Score: $2.95 Add to Cart


Version 2 Viola Part: $9.95 Add to Cart



Composer's Notes:

The work was initially commissioned by Normandale Lutheran Church, Edina, Minnesota, for the event Faith in the Arts, September 18, 2016. The treble voice part was sung by Sam Nelson, boy soprano.


The piano and viola version of the work was commissioned by the St. Olaf Choir, Northfield, Minnesota, under the direction of Anton Armstrong, for their spring 2017 tour of South Korea and Japan. This revision was first performed at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul with Charles Gray on the viola.


Gimse's text is printed below.


Notes by Mac Gimse, St. Olaf professor emeritus of art & art history, from

the May 6, 2017 concert program:

This piece was created to remember the countless children who are fragile victims of war. For as long as they live, they will be traumatized by the impact of killing and destruction. They cannot escape the horrors that fall on their eyes and brutalize their tiny bodies. They lose family, friends, and loved ones randomly snatched away, with no mending powerful enough to free them from their nightmares and give them back a life of peace. War is a form of ultimate child abuse. The Nuclear Law emerged as the New Clear Law, that we must prevent any use of this massive force, because the world remains on the brink of nuclear disaster.


I am grateful to Daniel Kallman who has set my poetry to music, and, by composing an uplifting Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy) and Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace), he brings it to a calming, elegant, peaceful conclusion.



Never Again . . . Evermore (Children of the Nuclear Holocaust), text by Mac Gimse:

Coils of clouds toss megatons of snarling chaos

Down onto streets swept dry by flames, of people stilled,

Watch . . . watch playgrounds drain of joy.

Never Again, Evermore.

Cover me with your arms of embrace.

Kyrie eleison.


All life stops with thunders of hot ash blowing.

A singe of odor breathes of melting leather

Onto hairless flesh.

Touch . . . touch tiny fingers as they reach for coolness.

Never Again, Evermore.

Lay on me your hands of healing.

Christe eleison.


Humans fall in heaps of walls, tumbling,

Scattered over stains of ground,

Each body etched into shadows of amber halo.

Listen . . . listen as kindergartens fade to their final breath.

Never Again, no more suffering, Evermore.

Bring me gentleness.

Kyrie eleison.


Sing me songs of soothing.

Child-angels lie in wait for the embers of their sintered lives to cool

Inside their wounded souls, then to rekindle their youthful glow.

Dream . . . dream of children dawning to teach us to their joy of life.


Never Again, no more nightmares, Evermore.

Bring us dancing

Into a world of healing hearts.

Dona nobis pacem.

Never Again, Evermore.


With memories of the nuclear holocaust,

I pledge never again to harm the sweetness

Of my child in laughter . . . evermore.

Feel, feel the infant heartbeat pulsing through my veins.

Never Again, no more heartache, Evermore.

Bring me your love unending.

Promise me peace to last beyond this day

Dona nobis pacem.


-- text reprinted by permission of Mac Gimse