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o by the by (2002)


(SATB, SA treble choir or soloists, piano) 3'30"

Kallman Creates Publications


E.E. Cummings' text about the loss of childhood wonder is perfectly suited to this combination of adult and children's voices.


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Choral Score: $1.90 Add to Cart



Composer's Notes:

This piece was written on commission for the Eau Claire (WI) Master Singers and the Chippewa Valley Girls Choir and was supported by a grant from the Wisconsin State Arts Board. See text below. NOTE: o by the by (2007) is another entirely different setting of this same text, for SATB and full orchestra.


o by the by
has anybody see
little you-i
who stood on a green
hill and threw
his wish at blue


with a swoop and a dart
out flew his wish
(it dived like a fish
but it climbed like a dream)
throbbing like a heart
singing like a flame


blue took it my
far beyond far
and high beyond high
bluer took it your
but bluest took it our
away beyond where


what a wonderful thing
is the end of a string
(murmurs little you-i
as the hill becomes nil)
and will somebody tell
me why people let go


"o by the by" from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E. E. Cummings, edited by
George J. Firmage, is used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Copyright © 1944, 1972, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.