The Song of Hiawatha (1986)
Thomas C. duffy
This piece is based on two verses from the epic poem of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It speaks of the native Americans, a people in touch with the elements, with great respect for nature. The music aspires to capture that moment at dusk when the last rays of sunlight shimmer on the water and the first of thousands of points of light from fireflies appears in the bushes.
By the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
By the shining Big Sea Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis
Dark before it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big Sea Water.
Saw the fire fly, Wah-way-tay-see,
Flitting through the dusk of evening,
With the twinkle of its candle,
Lighting up the brakes and bushes,
And he sang the song of children,
Sang the song Nokomis taught him;
Wah-way-tay-see, little fire fly,
Little flitting white-fire insect,
Little dancing white-fire creature,
Light me with your little candle.
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