Gwyneth Walker

Song and Dance

for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano (2021)

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Download a PDF file of the score of this composition.

Song and Dance is a set of three short songs based on the poetry of African-American poet Nikki Giovanni (b. 1943). These songs are intended as an addendum to the earlier collection, Shoe Jazz (for Youth Chorus and string quartet or brass quiintet, or piano). Whereas the Shoe Jazz texts were selected for young singers (or those who are young at heart!), the lyrics for Song and Dance are more mature -- sensuous and romantic -- yet still with the Nikki Giovanni humor and charm.

[The two sets may be programmed together.]

As the title Song and Dance suggests, this music is both melodic and rhythmic. Perhaps the singer will find that she cannot resist dancing while singing. This would be most appropriate!

A few lines from each poem will set the tone:

1. I Like the Dance/I like the way I feel in your arms

2. Friends and Lovers are different things/Friends go shopping for shoes with you/Lovers cause your heart to stop beating

3. I Sing for You/I whisper in your ear/I steal a kiss

Notes by the composer