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Let Them Not Say

“Let Them Not Say” is for SSAATTBB choir, quite tricky, high ranges needed. Words by Jane Hirshfield can be found here, or below: all rights to the words are reserved, but the music is available for performance under a Creative Commons license and the words can be used as part of that. Click here to see a virtual choir video of the piece, created by the Piedmont Singers.

This piece was shortlisted for the Scottish Awards for New Music in 2021, and will receive its in-person premiere on 21st May 2022 in Ember Choral Arts’ concert “Can We Talk… About Our Home?” in New York City. The concert will also be available as a livestream (7pm New York time) and will be repeated on 22nd May in Montclair, New Jersey. Click here for concert details and to book livestream tickets.

Download the choir-only score or a score with a piano reduction.

Email Chris Hutchings for queries.

Let Them Not Say – Jane Hirshfield, 1953-

Let them not say:   we did not see it.
We saw.

Let them not say:   we did not hear it.
We heard.

Let them not say:     they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.

Let them not say:   it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say:     they did nothing.
We did not-enough.

Let them say, as they must say something: 

A kerosene beauty.
It burned.

Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.

—2014