Psalm of Life

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a cappella SATB - poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, tune from the singing of Lotus Dickey - arr. Peter Amidon

In Amidons' book and CD "Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs". Starry Mountain Singers sing this on the recording. Grey Larson, a good friend of Lotus Dickey's, was a major force in getting Lotus Dickey and his music out into the world. Lotus Dickey set the poem to a tune that he remembered his father singing in church. Mary Alice and I sing a different treatment of Psalm of Life on our album "I'll Never Forget".

LYRICS

Psalm of Life
poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

CHORUS
Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal.
Dust thou art to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Lives of great men (ones) all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate.
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Tags: secular, a cappella