Sarah Palermo | Composer | Songwriter | Music Theorist

  The Soul's Own Speech

SATB a cappella
Text: Anon.
Duration: ca. 4:00
"The Soul’s Own Speech” is a setting of two anonymous poems. They are unrelated to each other, except in their common theme of how powerful music is. I selected these texts after visiting the archives of Westminster Choir College and thumbing through the John Finley Williamson Collection. Containing everything from personal and business letters to drafts of commencement speeches, this collection also has a folder containing articles, poems, and prayers on music and religion that belonged to John Finley Williamson, our school’s founder. Whether they were picked out by Dr. Williamson or came into his possession by accident, these two poems can be found, typed one after another, on the same sheet of paper. I do not know what purpose, if any, Dr. Williamson had for these words, but I could think of no better way of honoring him than by setting them together to music.

"For the common things of every day
God gave us speech in the common way
For the deeper things we think and feel
God gave the poets words to reveal
For the heights and depths no word can reach
God gave us music, the soul’s own speech"
"How many of us ever stop to think of music
As a wondrous magic link with God
Taking sometimes the place of prayer
When words have failed us ‘neath a weight of care
Music that knows no country, race, no creed
But gives to each according to his need"


® Copyright 2019 Sarah Palermo. All rights reserved.
All music and lyrics contained on this website by Sarah Palermo unless otherwise noted.
Website hosted by Elm Street Marketing Essentials