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Lyrics: Stacey Philipps

Duration: ca. 3:00

Difficulty: Moderate (GIA level 3)


This song combines old and new in many ways: the tune from an old shape note song – Arkansas – takes a new, slightly altered form as the chorus amidst verses of new music set to a poem by Hortense Flexner. Both texts are about sea voyages, real and metaphorical, and they combine to explore ideas of the trials of journeys of life, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Further inspiration came from news of refugees escaping by boat and accounts from those in war-torn countries struggling to decide how and when to leave. The music reflects these feelings of decisiveness and confusion, hope and concern, togetherness and separation through homophony, tonal expectations interrupted by chromaticism, and a cascading canon at the end that combines and obscures the 4/4 and 3/4 patterns that came before.

Upon the Sea

SKU: SP241
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