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Songs for the People (2021)

for Voice and Piano

Amy Scurria

Text by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Not for clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of (men) all*
With more abundant life.

Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life's fever and fret
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.

Let me sing for the little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o'er life's highway.

I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.

Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.

Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Girdle the world with peace.

* The composer changed "men" to "all."

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