Sarah and Sandy and Sally and Sue


Sarah and Sandy and Sally and Sue - (2007, rev. 2008)    

Gary Bachlund

for soprano and piano


Sarah and Sandy and Sally and Sue
They played at games, like me or you;
Sweet Sarah, she played a game all her own
While waiting still waiting to finally be grown, and

Sandy, she played with with the things she knew,
At raggedy dolls and raggedy Sue;   [ 1 ]
And Sally, she played with risk and with chance,
And teetered her way through her tom boy's dance.

All four did wander and lost their way,
As childhood comes not again to this day,
For whatever once was then comes not again
As girls grow up in a world full of men.

[ 3 pages, circa 1' 30" ]


This setting began its life as "maggie and millie and molly and may," composed in 2007 to a text of E. E. Cummings. The musical setting finds other words per the circumstances as detaled in No Thanks. On 8 December 2008 I penned this polite parody of it in structure and generalized sentiment. In the same way, original melodies and texts by Alan Hood and Richard Loring inspired my settings of Nursery Rhymes and Children's Prayers; after their last years when they were unable to sanction my musical settings to their melodies and texts which they had sketched only in "lead sheet" format, I chose to revise my settings with the original texts of those nursery rhymes which were long in the public domain. In the same way, I plan to revise my other settings of Cummings' texts to original words, thereby being able to offer them freely, as with this.



The setting's accompaniment effervesces with its 6/8 syncopation in the left hand, and the cadenza-like figuration which introduces the first strophe subsequently breaks the strophes. The vocal line rises to G, while the tessitura generally lies more moderately within the staff. A "pedal" C runs through the entire setting.



The score for Sarah and Sandy and Sally and Sue is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Sarah and Sandy and Sally and Sue




[ 1 ]    The "raggedy dolls," Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, are fictional characters created by writer and illustrator Johnny Gruelle (1880–1938) in a series of children's books. Raggedy Ann was created in 1915 as a cloth doll with red yarn hair, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. The sequels, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) added her brother, Raggedy Andy, in sailor suit and hat.