Alone Together

Gagot
Sydney Guillaume (b. 1982)

Depi maten m’leve m’ape monte desann,
Mwen kouri toupatou tankou yon chyen ki fou.
Mwen pale, mwen chante, mwen dòmi, mwen leve;
Mwen priye, mwen rele, se gagòt sou gagòt.

Gagòt isit, gagòt lòtbò.
Gagòt anwo, gagòt anba,
Gagòt toupatou, se gagòt sou gagòt.

Gagòt nan lide mwen,
Gagòt nan zak mwen yo,
Gagòt nan paròl mwen,
Gagòt nan vizyon mwen.

Tout bagay yo mele:
Lapenn ak lajwa, ledout ak lafwa,
Degoutans ak lespwa, lebyen avèk lemal.
Tèt mwen vire, li vire,
Tout bagay yo mele.
Gad’on gagòt!

Maten apre maten, m’ap livre yon batay;
Kontredans lavi-a rekòmanse chak jou.
Mwen chante, mwen danse, Mwen rele: “Viv lavi!”
Bridsoukou sanzatann mwen tounen nan gagòt.

Nan mitan gagòt sa mwen deside chèche,
Chèche, chèche konnen, konen sa k’ap pase.
Mwen fouye, mwen mande, mwen fini pa trouve
Jouk andedan kè mwen
Solisyon gagòt sa:

La vie d’ici-bas est un combat de tout instant
Que l’on ne peut gagner qu’un moment à la fois.

Apre lannuit se la jounen.
Apre lapli solèy leve.
Apre gagòt, apre gagòt… se kè poze.
Se jefò nan soufrans ki pote delivrans.

Ah! Ainsi soit-il!

Since I rose this morning I’ve gone through ups and downs,
Running around in circles like a crazy mad dog.
I speak, I sing, I sleep, I rise;
I pray, I scream, it’s mess upon mess.

It’s a mess here, it’s a mess there,
A mess up, a mess down,
Mess everywhere, it’s mess upon mess.

Messy are my thoughts,
Messy are my actions,
Messy are my words,
Messy is my vision.

Everything is entangled:
Pain and joy, doubt and faith,
Disgust and hope, good and evil.
My head is spinning and spinning,
Everything is entangled.
What a mess!

Morning after morning, I fight a battle;
The contredanse of life recommences daily.
I sing, I dance, I yell: “Hooray!”
Suddenly and swiftly I am back in a mess.

In the midst of this mess I decide to search,
To search for an understanding to what is happening.
I dig, I seek, and I finally find
In the very depth of my heart
The solution to this mess:

Life before death is a battle of every instant
That can not be won but one moment at a time.

After the night comes the day.
After the rain the sun rises.
After messes, after messes… the heart settles.}
It’s striving in suffering that brings redemption.

Ah! So be it!

 

She
Laura Mvula (b. 1986)

She walked towards you with her head down low
She wondered if there’s a way out of the blue
Who’s gonna take her home this time?
She knew that this time wouldn’t be the last time

There she waits looking for a savior
Someone to save her from her dying self
Always taking ten steps back and one step forward
She’s tired but she don’t stop

She don’t stop, she don’t stop, she don’t stop…

Every day she stood hoping for a new light
She closed her eyes and she heard a small voice say
You don’t stop, no, you belong to me
She cried, maybe it’s too late

She don’t stop, she don’t stop, she don’t stop …

She walked towards you with her head down low
She wondered if there’s a way out of the blue
Who’s gonna take her home this time?

She knew that this time wouldn’t be the last time

 

Twitter Song
Ingrid Michaelson (b. 1979)

Where do I go when I don’t have a friend?
Where do I go at another day’s end?
Nobody loves me, somebody loves me on…
Twitter!

I think I’m a big big loser
Then I go to my computer
Turn it on, and I feel grand
All because of…
Twitter!

Direct message me
Please, please message me
Or at least reply to my…
Twitter!

Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet
Tweet, tweet, tweet
Tweet, tweet, tweet…
Twitter!

 

Deep Blue
Tim Kingsbury (b. 1977), Win Butler (b. 1980), Richard R. Perry (b. 1977),
William Butler (b. 1982), Jeremy Gara (b. 1978), Régine Chassagne (b. 1976)

Here in my place and time
And here in my own skin I can finally begin
Let the century pass me by, standing under the night sky
Tomorrow means nothing

I was only a child then
Feeling barely alive when
I heard a song from a speaker of a passing car
Praying to a dying star, the memories fading
I can almost remember singing…

We watched the end of the century
Compressed on a tiny screen
A dead star collapsing and we could see
Something was ending
Are you through pretending?
We saw the signs in the suburbs

You could have never predicted that it could see through you
Kasparov, Deep Blue, 1996
Your mind’s playing tricks now
Show’s over so take a bow
And leave it in the shadows…

Hey
Put the cellphone down for a while
In the night there is something wild
Can you hear it breathing?
And hey
Put the laptop down for a while
In the night there is something wild
I feel it, it’s leaving me

 

You
Libby Larsen (b. 1950)

Commissioned by Music Accord for Cantus

  1. You, now…know

You,
You, now
You,
know
now, You know.
You Know now.
Now you know.
You
now you
now you know.

My Candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It burns a lovely light!

-Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)

 

Calme Des Nuits (Stillness of the Night)
Camille Saint-Saëns (1935–1921)

Calme des nuits, fraîcheur des soirs,
Vaste scintillement des mondes,
Grand silence des antres noirs
Vous charmez les âmes profondes.
L’éclat du soleil, la gaité,
Le bruit plaisent aux plus futiles;
Le poète seul est hanté
Par l’amour des choses tranquilles.

Stillness of the night, cool of the evening,
Vast shimmering of the spheres,
Great silence of black vaults
Deep thinkers delight in you.
The bright sun, merriment,
And noise amuse the more frivolous;
Only the poet is possessed
By the love of quiet things.

 

A Most Peculiar Man
Paul Simon (b. 1941)
Art Garfunkel (b. 1941)

He was a most peculiar man.
That’s what Mrs. Riordan said and she should know;
She lived upstairs from him
She said he was a most peculiar man.

He was a most peculiar man.
He lived all alone within a house,
Within a room, within himself,
A most peculiar man.

He had no friends, he seldom spoke
And no one in turn ever spoke to him,
‘Cause he wasn’t friendly and he didn’t care
And he wasn’t like them.
Oh, no! he was a most peculiar man.

He died last Saturday.
He turned on the gas and he went to sleep
With the windows closed so he’d never wake up
To his silent world and his tiny room;
And Mrs. Riordan says he has a brother somewhere
Who should be notified soon.
And all the people said, “What a shame that he’s dead,
But wasn’t he a most peculiar man?”

 

You
Libby Larsen (b. 1950)

Commissioned by Music Accord for Cantus 

III. You, know…are, who

You
You, know
where
You,
are…
You,
are…who
who are You
who are…
Who are you?
You

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise — you know!

How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell one’s name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!

-Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

 

Gesang der Mönche (Monks’ Song)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770­–1827)
Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805)

Rasch tritt der Tod den Menschen an,
Es ist ihm keine Frist gegeben;
Es stürzt ihn mitten in der Bahn,
Es reißt ihn fort vom vollen Leben.
Bereitet oder nicht zu gehen!
Er muß vor seinem Richter stehen!

Quickly comes Man’s death,
He is given no reprieve;
It strikes him mid-course,
It rips him from the prime of life.
Whether ready to go or not!
He must stand before his judge!

 

Gravedigger
Dave Matthews (b. 1967)

Cyrus Jones 1810 to 1913
Made his great grandchildren believe
You could live to a hundred and three
A hundred and three is forever when you’re just a little kid
So Cyrus Jones lived forever

Gravedigger
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Muriel Stonewall
1903 to 1954
She lost both of her babies in the second great war
Now you should never have to watch
As your only children lowered in the ground
I mean you should never have to bury your own babies

Gravedigger
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Ring around the rosy
Pocket full of posy
Ashes to ashes
We all fall down

Gravedigger
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Little Mikey Carson 67 to 75
He rode his
Bike like the devil until the day he died
When he grows up he wants to be Mr. Vertigo on the flying trapeze
Oh, 1940 to 1992

Gravedigger
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain

Gravedigger
When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain
Feel the rain
I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

 

When the Earth Stands Still
Don McDonald (b. 1966)

Come listen in the silence of the moment before rain comes down.
There’s a deep sigh in the quiet of the forest and the tall tree’s crown.

Now hold me.
Will you take the time to hold me and embrace the chill?
Or miss me,
Will you take the time to miss me when the earth stands still?

Cause there’s no use running
Cause the storm’s still coming
And you’ve been running for too many years.

Come listen in the silence of the moment before shadows fall.
Feel the tremor of your heartbeat matching heartbeat as we both dissolve.

Now hold me.
Will you take the time to hold me and embrace the chill?
Or miss me,
Will you take the time to miss me when the earth stands still?

Cause there’s no use running
Cause the storm’s still coming
And you’ve been running for too many years.

So stay with me, held in my arms
Like branches of a tree
They’ll shelter you for many years.

 

You Will Be Found
Benj Pasek (b. 1985)
Justin Paul (b. 1985)

No one deserves to be forgotten
No one deserves to fade away
No one should come and go
And have no one know
He was ever even here
No one deserves to disappear

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they’ll take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found

There’s a place where we don’t have to feel unknown
And every time that you call out
You’re a little less alone
If you only say the word
From across the silence
Your voice is heard
Take you home
Someone will come running
To take you home

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found

Out of the shadows
The morning is breaking
And all is new, all is new
It’s filling up the empty
And suddenly I see that
All is new, all is new
You are not alone

Even when the dark comes crashin’ through
When you need someone to carry you
When you’re broken on the ground
You will be found!
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found
Even when the dark comes crashin’ through
You will be found
When you need someone to carry you
You will be found
You will be found