So I wrote this song, sort of. Maybe you’ll like it.
After about 6 years of covering pop songs in my a cappella groups, I really wanted to sing some original music. In part, I was motivated by the US’s aggressively restrictive copyright regime, which always prevented us from freely sharing recordings of our own performances.
I tried to write a song from scratch for a while, but it wasn’t working out, mostly because I don’t have anything interesting to say. Then I struck upon the idea of using the text of an old out-of-copyright poem (which, because of the US’s effectively perpetual copyright, has to be very old indeed). I started browsing through the poetry section of WikiSource, until I stumbled across this brilliant 1895 poem by Langdon Smith. The choice was clear.
I drew up a thoroughly derivative 4-part a cappella arrangement in MuseScore, and VoiceLab indulged me by adding it to the repertoire. We’ve sung it twice so far, but the first time we didn’t have a good recording, and then this time I had to solve this audio-video alignment problem… but now it’s here.
The recordings and sheet music are all CC0 dedicated to the public domain. I would appreciate attribution as the arranger, but I find threats of legal action to be just as distasteful as plagiarism. I wouldn’t want to do anything to discourage people from adopting and adapting the music as they see fit. Maybe someone will make a recording with a soloist who can really sing!