Returning | SATB, SSAA, or TTBB Chorus & Audience | 5.5'

Contemporary poet Laura Foley's text for Returning describes watching and waiting for the return of wild geese—or any beloved thing—each passing year. This setting of her poem features a simple audience refrain that recurs three times. The refrain, included here and in the score's program notes, may be re-printed in the program or easily taught through call-and-response before the piece is sung. 

Returning was commissioned by Minnesota-based chorus Magpies & Ravens (Curtis Kettler, director).

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text

RETURNING

I have learned this:
if you stay in one place long enough

they will return to you.

REFRAIN*

They will return to you,

they will return to you,

they will return.

The geese you saw leaving,

their feet rising into dark bodies.

They will return.

[REFRAIN]

All you need to do is watch the sun each day

as it tumbles through the sky
and they will come again.

[REFRAIN]

They will return, floating toward you,

their damp bodies
still trembling from flight.

—Laura Foley

*Note: Text for the refrain is not part of Laura Foley's original poem.

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