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Stephen Brown: Compositions

Where the Geese Go Barefoot

(1999, 2000, revised 2008)
soprano, flute, viola, cello, and piano
A five movement song cycle for soprano, flute, viola and guitar. Movements 1, 3 and 5 use soprano with the ensemble. Movement 2 uses flute and guitar only. Movement 4 uses uses viola and guitar only. Premiere, Faculty Chamber Music Series, Alix Goolden Performance Hall, Victoria B.C. March 4, 1999. Catherine Lewis soprano, Mary Byrne flute, Christine Prince viola, and Alexander Dunn guitar.

Subsequent performances:
2006, Victoria, BC, Nancy Washeim soprano, Larry de la Haye clarinet, Walter Mony viola, Larry Skaggs cello, Nicholas Fairbank piano.
2009, Toronto, Ontario, Talisker Players, Xin Wang soprano, Anne Thompson flute, Mary McGeer viola, Kevin Barrett guitar.
"Where the Geese Go Barefoot, set to music by West Coast composer Stephen Brown, mixed a clever score with Mother Goose rhymes." John Terauds, Toronto Star.

The idea for Where the Geese Go Barefoot comes from Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Brown has chosen three tongue twisters, Peter Piper, She Sells Sea Shells, and Betty Botter, for the text for the three vocal movements. These movements present the singer with interesting challenges, as two of the movements are quite fast and the slow movement has some unusual leaps. The two instrumental movements are I See the Moon, and Donkey, Donkey, Old and Grey. "I remember my mother reading these rhymes to me," says Brown, "and I thought it would be quite enjoyable to set them to music creating a sense of fun and play. It seems to have worked. The audiences have enjoyed them very much."  As well as the complete performances listed above, the movements have been performed individually, particularly I See the Moon, which says Dr. Mary Byrne, "is absolutely gorgeous."

Version are also available for:
- soprano, flute (or clarinet), viola, guitar, and piano.
- soprano, flute (or clarinet), viola, cello, and piano.
- soprano and piano, movements 1,3, & 5 only, the vocal movements.

And there is a chamber music version (no voice), Where the Gander Goes Barefoot. See under Orchestral Music. Duration: 13 minutes

Score, She Sells Sea Shells (movement three):
Page 1
Page 2

Swan House Victoria SJB 1330A
Chamber version, includes full score and parts: $30.00

Swan House Victoria SJB 1330B
Soprano and piano version, movements 1,3, & 5 (vocal movements): $15.00

Also see I See the Moon in the chamber music section.


Peter Piper, Movement One

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

I See the Moon, Movement Two (instrumental)

I see the moon,
And the moon sees me,
And the moon sees somebody
I want to see.

God bless the moon,
And God bless me,
And God bless the somebody
I want to see.

She Sells Sea Shells, Movement Three

She sells sea shells on the seashore;
The shells that she sells are sea shells I’m sure.
So if she sells sea shells on the sea shore,
I’m sure that the shells are seashore shells.

Donkey, Donkey, Movement Four (instrumental)

Donkey, donkey, old and gray,
Open your mouth and gently bray;
Lift your ears and blow your horn,
To wake the world this sleepy morn.

Betty Botter, Movement Five

Betty Botter bought some butter,
But, she said, the butter’s bitter;
If I put it in my batter,
It will make my batter bitter,
But a bit of better butter
Will make my batter better.
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
An she put it her batter
And the batter was not bitter.
So it was better Betty Botter bought
A bit of better butter.

Mother Goose