Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


The Sand-Man - (2008)    

Paul Laurence Dunbar

for low or medium voice and piano


     I know a man
    With face of tan,
But who is ever kind;
    Whom girls and boys
    Leaves games and toys
Each eventide to find.

    When day grows dim,
    They watch for him,
He comes to place his claim;
    He wears the crown
    Of Dreaming-town;
The sand-man is his name.

    When sparkling eyes
    Troop sleepywise
And busy lips grow dumb;
    When little heads
    Nod toward the beds,
We know the sand-man's come.

[ 2 pages, circa 2' 15" ]


Paul Laurence Dunbar


For something on the life of this American poet, please see the notes for my setting of Dunbar's Theology.



Composed for low or medium voice and piano, the setting is intended in shades of mezzo piano and softer. Mostly diatonic polytonal chords ring quietly, one against another as the introduction sketches out musically that moment in the life of a child when sleep steal ups up so easily. The three verses are handled in a standard song form structure in terms of periodicity but with the center verse drifting away from the tonic,  into the mediant.



A fulcrum using the mediant region for the second verse polytonal fashion against C major directs the third verse back into the tonic, D major, through to a final cadence marked triple piano.




The score for The Sand-Man 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.


The Sand-Man