If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking

Unison and Piano

Text: Emily Dickinson

Duration: 2 min

Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes 2017

Commissioned by Amabile Choirs of London, Canada.

If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking is a setting of Emily Dickinson’s poem by the same name. The text illuminates themes of generosity and selflessness. It asks us to think of others before ourselves, encouraging us to reflect the need in today’s society for humility and thoughtfulness. This unison song has a melody that weaves in and out of the piano line, creating a contemporary feel with uplifting harmonies and appealing melodic gestures.


Premiere audio

IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Published: Boosey and Hawkes 2017

Purchase from Hal Leonard

Themes: love, death, life, nature, birds, vain, selflessness, ease, health, life, living, refuge

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