Keep A-Pluggin' Away
2005, for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass & Piano
Length: 3+ minutes
Revision: 1
Difficulty: Difficult
Cost per Copy: $2.50

Keep A-Pluggin' Away was commissioned by Yavapai Community College to celebrate the success of their graduates.  It is a driving work with changing meters and an exciting and surprising climax. It can be performed immediately before the work Success.

The text was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet.   His original poem Keep A-Pluggin' Away can be found here.  The text as used in this piece follows:

I've a humble little motto
That is homely, though it's true,
it's a thing when I've an object
That I always try to do.

When you've rising storms to quell,
When opposing waters swell,
It will never fail to tell
Keep a pluggin', plug away.

If the hills are high before
And the paths are hard to climb,
You remember that successes
Come to him who bides his time.

From the greatest to the least,
None are from the rule released.
Be thou toiler, poet priest,
Keep apluggin', plug away.

There'll be lots of sneers to swallow.
There'll be lots of pain to bear.
Perseverance still is king;
Keep a pluggin', pluggin'.

Work and wait unwearying,
Work and wait unwearying.

Delve away beneath the surface,
There is treasure farther down.
Let the rain come down in torrents,
Let the threat'ning heavens frown.

When the clouds have rolled away
There will come a brighter day.
All your labor to repay
Keep a pluggin' plug away.

Keep A-Pluggin' Away was written in the spring of 2005 and premiered by Yavapai College's Chamber Singers at the college's 2005 awards ceremony.

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