SAB, TB or SA and Piano (with optional divisi)

Andrew Lane (with permission)

4 min.

Cypress Choral Music 2020



Commissioned by the Amabile Choir’s of London, Carol Beynon

In This Wide World is a piece which removes all that is not needed. The piano is steadfast in its clarity, the melodic ideas float in and out of the pianos gestures. The original poem is adapted freely. The music moves from unison lines to two and three part writing; the song ends in four part lines which weave and intermingle.


SAB CP 1742

TB CP1744

SA CP 1743



Here On The Top Of Vimy Ridge I Stand

Full poem below (BOLD is text used for this composition)

By Andrew Lane ~ 1917

Here on the top of Vimy Ridge I stand
And looking out behold so vast a land
Still dear to France though mauled by alien hand
So long a time.
What wreckage here, where once was landscape fair

What woeful damage done beyond compare
To this broad plain below, so rare so rare
Which once did smile.
There in the valley lies the village torn
By German shell and rendered quite forlorn
Where not long since youth wandered night and morn

And breathed its love.
What is that grey streak in the distance far?
A chalky trench which Germans try to mar
And rob there from the flower of the war
With cruel shell.
Here is some lonely but triumphant grave
Of some much loved unknown Canadian brave
Who gave his life, freedom and truth to save
For all mankind.
There, there and there wherever one may look
One sees that Death has swung his reaping hook
And then swift winged forsook, in faith forsook
The noble dead.
Is this the end, the end of godly fight?
Or is there something still more radiant bright?
Can not it be that upward into Light
Their souls have flown?
When shall it end, when all this torture cease?

When liberty can get an age long lease
To unmolested roam where’er she please
In this wide world.
So there is something greater than to breathe
It is to keep alive life’s verities
To keep Light’s flickering torch aglow and leave
The rest to God.

Mr. Gordon Lane (London, Ontario) submitted his father’s First World War poems which had only recently been rediscovered. Andrew Lane was a Gunner with the 43rd Battery Canadian Field Artillery. The unit was commissioned in 1916 by Lt. Col. David McCrae, John McCrae’s father. Gunner Lane’s poems written in 1917- 1918, provide us with a contemporary soldier’s thoughts and emotions.

SATB and Piano

4 min

Marjorie Pickthall

SBMP 2018 # 1495

Commissioned by the TVDSB for the 2017 All City Choir Night.

Marjorie Pickthall (1833-1922) was born in England, but lived most of her life in Toronto, and died in Vancouver. From a young age she had some success as a poet, but shortly fell out of the canon of Canadian literature. Daisy Time is one of the poems that remained well-known since its inception. Although Pickthall is an underrated and somewhat un- known poet, she speaks of everyday images that elevate the ordinary. Her direct and clear poems resonate with me and help me to navigate the world we live in. Honeyed Hearts is a song that speaks to times or moments in ones past that we love to remember, or hope to experience again. The melody is set in a flexible and free style. The flowing and whimsical melodies are my attempt to create a sense of nostalgia. The piano often plays straight quarter notes acting as the songs heartbeat, or it joins in the whimsically flowing passages to add movement and support alongside the choir.

Daisy Time

See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.
Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies’ dance
All the meadow over.
Blow, O blow, you happy winds,
Singing summer’s praises,
Up the field and down the field
A-dancing with the daisies.

Premiere Audio

Themes: love, unity, flowers, nature, daisy, honey, hearts, peace, flowing, stars, grass, gold, wind, dancing,

SATB A Cappella

3 min duration

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Cypress publishing CP1572


soundcloud audio:

from the publisher…”Serene choral music, full of prayerful pleading – to the lyrics of Paul Laurence Dunbar,  (b. 1872), who gave the world beautiful and meaningful poetry”


O Lord, the hard-won miles have

worn my stumbling feet

O soothe me with Thy smiles,

and make my life complete.

O Lord, the thorns were thick and keen

Where’re I trembling trod

The way was long between

my wounded feet and God.

O Lord, where healing waters flow

do Thou my footsteps lead

My heart is aching, aching so

Thy gracious balm I need – O Lord





SATB (cp1569) or TTBB (cp1570) and Piano

Marjorie Pickthall, poet

4 min duration

Cypress Publishing

Commissioned by the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston: “The beautiful and life affirming poem by Marjorie Pickthall (Canadian) is given a classy and poignant setting in the inimitable Emery style.”

Soundcloud Audio


Just to live under green leaves and see them

Just to lie under low stars and watch them wane

a kind heart

Just to sleep by a kind heart

and know it loving – again

Just to live, just to lie

just to sleep, just to live

just to wake, just to walk

a kind heart

Just to wake on a sunny day

and the wind blowing

and know it loving – again

Just to live, just to lie

just to sleep, just to wake

a kind heart

Just to walk on a bare road

in the bright rain, or a sunny day

under low stars

and know it loving – again

Just to walk, just to wake

just to sleep, just to lie

just to live, just to wake, just to walk

a kind heart

Just to lie, just to wake

just to walk, just to live

These, O these,

and the night moon showing again

a kind heart – again.

Purchase (SATB and/or TTBB accompanied)

Themes; love, loss, longing, kindness, nature, heart, love, healing, moving on, peace, remembrance

SATB a cappella

2.5 min each, 5 min total

Text: Marjorie Pickthall


Love: No 1.3533

In Whom All Things: No 1. 3534

  1. Love : Pax Christi Recording
  2. In Whom All Things Are : Pax Christi Recording

Commissioned by Pax Christi Chorale, Stephanie Martin, dir.

premiere audio (excerpt):




LOVE said to the wind, Be still; To time, Be merciful;
To life, Be sufficient.
But these answered,
Shall breath command breath, Or the relentless the relentless, Or the shadow, the shadow?



LOVE, in whom all things are, Shadow and light, Make of my grief a star Crowning his night. Love, in whom all things nest, Tired of the way,
Make of my pains a rest Healing his day.
Love, in whom all things hide, Far though they roam Make my life’s loss the tide Bearing him home

in whom all things updated cover


SSATB a cappella

4 min

Text: Marjorie Pickthall

self published

Commissioned by the Johnson State College Choirs. Bethany L. Plissey, Director.


OVER the field where the grass is cool, (Follow the road who must !)
With a song for the beech and the brown pool, And the noiseless tread in the dust,
With a laugh for the lazy hours that go, And the folk who pass us by.
(The trees they grow so broad, so low, They shut me from the sky.)

Here be strawberries wild and sweet, (Follow the road who may !)
And here’s a rest for a bairn’s feet And a kiss at the close o’ day.
And here’s a cloud from the shining sea Like a white moth in the night. (On the edge o’ the barley field, may be The stars would show more bright.)

Cut me a flute where the reeds are brown. (Follow the road who will !)
O, I’ll dress you fair in a green gown
And a cloak that is finer still.
Your sleeves shall be o’ the fairies’ lawn, Your shoon as red as the rose.
(Do you think that the wind which wakes at dawn Will bring us a breath o’ the snows ?)

O, the world’s wide, and the world is long. (Follow the road who may !)
And here’s a lilt of the wild song
The Romany pipers play.
And ‘Mine,’ it sings, ‘is the moon’s shield, And the cloak o’ the cloud is mine.’ (Do you think that the lowland clover field Is sweet as the upland pine ?)

Program note;

The Hillman’s Lass, speaks to many themes. Pickthall’s narrative poem suggests ideas of love, longing and an endless road which seems to sparkle and come alive as it twists through beech forests, fields of cool grass and shining seas and stars.

The folk-like story is set musically with a common melodic idea, heard throughout the song in all voices, it is somewhat extroverted and ‘upbeat’. This ‘simple’ melody is juxtaposed with a slower, more mediative or introverted sections. These inward expressions on the texts relating to following the ‘road’ are moments for reflection and calmness.

I see the two sides of the piece a narrative of the world; a mix of loud and soft, busy and slow. We reach and explore moving down our own path in life. We are lead down roads, valleys, mountains, fields and seas. We also question our path and future, we are unsure if this path we are on is the right one. We search for meaning and connections, this is musically referenced at the end of the work with the canon idea accompanied by a drone, which then ends the song calling back to the opening text and music. The song ends in a lullaby like rocking motion, as if nature has calmed our world into a compassionate resonating space, whole.

Matthew Emery, July 2016, Toronto.

SATB a cappella

4 min

Text: Marjorie Pickthall

Boosey & Hawkes 2018

Commissioned by the Woodstock Fanshawe Wingers, Shawn Grenke director.

Premiere audio, copyright WFS.



O keep the world forever at the dawn,
Yet, keeping so, let nothing lifeless seem,
But hushed, as if the miracle of morn
Were trembling in its dream.
Some shadowy moth may pass with drowsy flight
And fade before the sight,
While in the unlightened darkness of the wall
The chirping crickets call;
From forest pools where fragrant lilies are
A breath shall pass afar,
And o’er the crested pine shall hang one star.


SATB a cappella

5 min

Text: Marjorie Pickthall

Boosey & Hawkes 2018


Commissioned by THAT CHOIR 2017. Premiered May 2017, Toronto.

premiere audio – copyright That Choir, Craig Pike.

O, fly away on the wings of love,

While love in our hearts shall be.

O, why do you turn to the wild sky,

Away from the trees and me?

O, when I fly, I’ll fly like the white sea dove,

To the heart of the wide grey sea.

YouTube Video


Two-Part Chorus of Mixed or Equal Voices (divisi) and Piano

4 min.

Text by Frederick Shea Jesson

E.C. Schirmer 2017 No. 1.3491

VIDEO Performance by the 2018 Greater Phoenix Women’s Honour Choir

Commissioned by the ORIANA Women’s Choir of Toronto.

premiere audio:


view score:


You Have Made Me, Earth features long melodic lines which weave and soar, mingle and intertwine, representing life’s flowing pulse.

—Matthew Emery


Earth, you have made me
Of smoke and the flying Of strong-winged birds.

And the freedom of wind, With the freedom of waves,
Has entered into my being.

From dust of a moth-wing You have made me, Earth.


SATB a cappella

Arrangement, original melody: E. Gagnon (in Public Domain)

7 min total duration

-J’ai cueilli la belle rose, 2 min purchase

– En roulant ma boule roulant, 2 min purchase

– Petit rocher,  3 min purchase

Pavane Publishing 2018

Commissioned and premiered by the Cantabile Chamber Singers (Toronto) Oct. 2016.


Errors in the score for Petit Rocher:

m.8 = cette

m.13 = En-ten-dez

m.18= bientôt

m.29 = à

m.32 = j’a

m.36 = heu-reux

m.44 = soprano, place the “ne” of “donne” on beat 2 of mm 44.

m.47 = vous