Secular

vocal/piano score

$16.00 per copy (you are buying a digital license)

The following videos are from the choral voicing of this cycle.


Text:

Paper Cranes
Wings made of paper, 
wishes made of air
One sits by the window, so quiet
The world out there
Made of buses, made of clouds
Made of steel, made of cranes.

One sits by the window
Listens to the dreams 
we dream, hears the hum 
of each machine, 
knows that 
If you could see
the way my mind moves
You’d hear the music in me.

In my head, an endless number,
A bear with no name.
Some things will always be here
Do not need a name or end
Some things we’ll never 
Ever understand.

Blue’s my favorite color
Ruby and Rose, my favorite names
The day after we’re born
Is when our real life begins.

How does the crane carry 
my wish on its wings?
How does the star rising, 
hold my handprint 
In its blaze?

A thousand cranes tied together, 
left hanging cloud to cloud, 
until tattered by the breeze, 
and when they are broken
our wish begins.


Twenty Questions
When you’re in a hospital bed
There’s not much to do
So you study the numbers, 
follows the tubes,
ask yourself questions, like

Do elephants have belly buttons?
Do pandas like peanuts?
Do you think I’ll lose my smile, 
when I’m a grown up?

The nurses keep going
home every day.
Just stay for one,
then a new one comes.

Twenty questions, it’s just a game
It says it can read my mind
But it doesn’t even know 
what I’m talking about.

Don’t want to think about 
all the things I’m missing, 
all the time I’m spending here.
Don’t want to think, so instead

How many flavors of ice cream
Are there in the world? 
What would a red whale look like, 
in a red sea?

When you’re in a hospital bed
There’s not much to do
So you memorize your arm band, 
the tune the I.V. sings.

Daddy ate a birthday candle 
Just for fun.
Mom tells me she’s seen me 
do the bravest things.

You ask me if it’s hard 
to be here in this bed. I tell you 
life is hard, no matter 
where you’re living it.

I do know this
No game can prove me wrong
There is so much happy 
and sad, so all of a sudden
& there isn’t anything 
we wouldn’t do 
for each other.


Before We Get Dusty
I wish I had some bubble wrap
To pop with my feet
Want to jump, poke holes in paper 
When it’s you, visiting me.

Feeling shy and thank you
Did you know my insides glow?
I swim like a fish, 
I dance like the wind
In the banana tree leaves.

I like pushing things
I like fighting and watching tv
I wish right now I was a bug
Climbing up your knee.

We’ll leave before we get dusty
We’ll run and climb every tree
Maybe tomorrow we’ll find some answers
Maybe we’ll all turn into bees.

I like to laugh and play with my grandpa, 
I like ants in my p.j.s. 
Do you wish you were a ball, 
could roll and bounce off the 
walls with me?

I wish I was a builder
I’d build a house we’d decorate
With books and tickets, 
with money and dogs
With stickers and popsicle sticks.

On the ceiling we’ll find thoughts
Drifting and changing like the day,
We’ll lie on our backs and watch them
gather and carry our fears away.

We’ll leave before we get dusty
We’ll run and climb every tree
Maybe tomorrow we’ll find some answers
Maybe tomorrow we’ll leave.
Maybe tomorrow.
Maybe.


Where Beauty Comes From
Lying on our backs, somewhere 
a guitar plays 
we sing along, no words,
just a song all our own.

Sometimes the only thing moving
are your eyes, 
blinking 
to the beat of a drum.
What song do you see?
A darting bird? The sun’s hello?
Where beauty comes from?

We flicker like fireflies, we shine
Stars to guide us above,
we all want to matter, just want
To be loved.

Breathe in and hold it
breathe out and let it go
Sometimes we’ve got to improvise,
just sing a song all our own.

sometimes I’ve got to back away
sometimes I need to hear you say
this with me

sometimes my life’s
an uncertainty
but one day I’ll make all
the difference, you will see
in the world
you will see

close your eyes now, imagine 
how this world could spin 
open them and tell me 
where beauty comes from

breathe in
and hold it
breathe out...

- All poems by Julia Klatt Singer All rights reserved.