Twelve Of The Best: Songs With Rounds

Over the years I’ve written many rounds and partner songs for both children’s groups and adult choirs. This is a selection of the best. They’re the best because they’re popular, they have beautiful melodies, they flow along, they’re quirky, they’ve been performed many times…one or more of these reasons!

Below the video catalogue you’ll find more information about each song and links to the scores and full recordings.

  1. The Robin Cam To The Wren’s Nest – A short round which is an adaptation of one of Robert Burns’ poems and songs. I arranged it for The Bridge Singers’ Burns Night celebrations in 2018.
  2. The Lamb – Originally composed as a single line song for a Primary School in Sunderland, where they sang it with great enjoyment and enthusiasm as a single line song with a 2-part round in the chorus, I then arranged it for SATB choir as you hear here.
  3. Pigeon Hands – I composed this one for Musical Sculptures family composing workshops at the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield. The participating families made up accompaniment patterns and sang the song with a 3-part round in the chorus. We performed our version in front of the painting that inspired it – William Roberts’ The Pigeon Carriers.
  4. Autumn Sea – This music was originally used with NZ poet Allen Curnow’s Wild Iron in a series of composing activities in primary schools. The music was very popular, so I made up some other words to fit, inspired by the North Sea on the Northumberland Coast.
  5. Chocolate River – a three-way partner song composed for a primary school who had invented a place called “Sweetie Land”. The song not only has a chocolate river but also bouncing, rolling colourful sweets and foamy banana trees. It can be sung as a single line song instead.
  6. Henry Hotspur Percy – composed for a middle school to use at the unveiling of a statue of the hotheaded Northumberland hero in Alnwick. We learnt it as a three-way partner song with drumming and were ready to go, but the sculpture was late being finished and the unveiling happened in the school holidays so we never did perform it. However, it’s my most popular song on my YouTube channel, seapieparcel!
  7. Push The Boats Out – Another song composed for drop-in family composing workshops at the Hepworth Wakefield, inspired this time by Christopher Woods’ “The Fisherman’s Farewell”. It encouraged the participants to really study each of the three characters in the painting very closely and imagine how each is feeling. I later arranged it for 3-part choir (either SSA or TBB), but maintained the round in the last chorus.
  8. Rainbow Song – This one was written for a primary school’s Carnival of Colours, each class responsible for a different colour. The song is a lengthy one with eight verses exploring the significance of each colour and then of the entire rainbow. The chorus has a short phrase based on each colour – these eight phrases can be sung as repeating patterns or as a round.
  9. Salsa Salsa – a short, spicy song about dancing, tasty dips and the odd drink or two. It came from a quirky Facebook exchange between myself and singer Sarah Gray.
  10. Lupset Chase – a wintry round with Medieval tendencies inspired by the thought that wolves possibly roamed around the Lupset area of Wakefield in the olden days, and that they were kept as hunting aids by the lords back then.
  11. Hymn Of The Ancient Greeks – composed for a class of Year 4 primary school students who were studying Ancient Greece. It pulls together lots of the facts they’d learned during their topic. They sang it as a round at the end of the topic.
  12. Up And Down The Buttery Stairs – composed for a school studying castle life in Medieval times and learned by them prior to their day trip to Warkworth Castle in Northumberland.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.