The song of the poppies (Elizabeth Stirling)

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  • (Posted 2023-12-12)  CPDL #78109:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-12-12).   Score information: Letter, 12 pages, 974 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The song of the poppies
Composer: Elizabeth Stirling
Lyricist: Louisa Anne Twamley
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1862 Novello and Co.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

“We little redcaps are among the corn,
Merrily dancing at early morn,
For we know that the farmer hates to see
Our saucy red faces, but here are we!”

“We pay no price for our summer coats,
Like those slavish creatures, Barley and Oats;
We don’t choose to be ground and eat,
Like our heavy-head neighbour, Gaffer Wheat.”

But blithe was the rich rosy farmer that morn,
When he went with his reapers among the corn;
He trotted along, and crack’d his joke,
And chatted and laugh’d with the harvest folk.

“We’ll cut this Barley today,” quoth he,
As he tied his pony under a tree,
“Next the upland Wheat, and then the Oats.”
How the poppies shook their scarlet coats!

Aye, shook with laughter, not fear, for they
Never dreamt that they too should be swept away;
And the farmer, glancing across the grain,
Cried, “Look how these weeds have come up again.

“Ha! Ha!” Laugh’d the redcaps. “ha! ha! what a fuss
The poor weeds must be in, how they’re envying us.”
But their mirth was cut short by the sturdy strokes
Which they speedily met from the harvest folks.