Village Song
2010, for SSA
Length: 3:20 minutes
Revision: 1
Difficulty: Moderate
Cost per Copy: $1.50

Village Song is an animated setting of a poem by Sarojini Naidu that was first published in her book entitled The Golden Threshold.  The poem is both the voice of a mother pleading for her daughter to wait for her betrothed to arrive and the voice of the daughter who wishes to run off to the forest and remain a child.

by Sarojini Naidu

Honey, child, honey, child, whither are you going?
Would you cast your jewels all to the breezes blowing?
Would you leave the mother who on golden grain has fed you?
Would you grieve the lover who is riding forth to wed you?

Mother mine, to the wild forest I am going,
Where upon the champa boughs the champa buds are blowing;
To the koil-haunted river-isles where lotus lilies glisten,
The voices of the fairy folk are calling me: O listen!

Honey, child, honey, child, the world is full of pleasure,
Of bridal-songs and cradle-songs and sandal- scented leisure.
Your bridal robes are in the loom, silver and saffron glowing,
Your bridal cakes are on the hearth: O whither are you going?

The bridal-songs and cradle-songs have cadences of sorrow,
The laughter of the sun to-day, the wind of death to-morrow.
Far sweeter sound the forest-notes where forest- streams are falling;
O mother mine, I cannot stay, the fairy-folk are calling.

Sarojini Naidu (1879 – 1949) was a child prodigy, freedom fighter, and poet. A prolific writer as a young adult, she gave up her literary career to join Ghandi and take a leadership role in India’s independence Movement.  Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.  She was famously known as The Nightingale of India.

Village Song was written in 2010.  The Prescott Women's Chamber Choir premiered the set in Chaparral MusicFest 2010 New Music Arizona Concert.

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