Woman's Songs 1976  


Score Samples

I Little Girls's Song

II Young Woman's Song

III Old Woman's Song

For Soprano and Chamber Ensemble or

Soprano and Piano

This page should be complete by the end of September 2008. The piano version can serve as a performance score for the singer. This would save several page turns.


Text for this work by: Kay K. Maves

Performance Notes (by the composer)

Premiere: College of Charleston SC May 1978 Deanna McBroom, Soprano, ensemble conducted by the composer.




Woman's Songs
Little Girl's Song

* little girl's voice, small, uncertain; not necessarily a faked voice,
but clear and ingenuous--not a mature singer's voice

*Life is being very small...

Oh, I know!
Life is sun and stars
and trees and grass
and snow and Mud!
Oh Mud -
Oh, warm and brown and smooth and squishy
on my toes, and -

** a mature singer's voice

Your dress, how dirty
Oh, your hair a tangle!
And your ribbon
Haven't I raised you-
Haven't I told you
You'll never be a lady!

*Life is...
Life is being very small -
Life is being told to be a lady -
Life is games
and toys, and playing tag
and tic- tac- toe,
and hop scotch, jump rope, riddles
running in the rain and
beating up the bully down the block-

You what?
Fight like a boy!
Tear your dress!
Bloody your nose!
Didn't I tell you,
Didn't I warn you-
Ladies never fight!

Life is...
Life is being very small-
Live is growing up to be a lady-
I don't think I want to be a lady.

Young Woman's Song
My hair is curled,
My dress arranged just so.
My smile and manner practiced and serene,
I wait.
Oh, I wait for someone.
He will make my life complete.
He will fill my days.
He will be
All I have not been,
All I will not be.
So I have practiced
So I have learned.
If I can only sketch out a pattern,
Someone will fill it.
Someone will bring it around to a close.
There will be he and I,
There will be children.
They will be
All he is
All I am not.

Old Woman's Song
"What have I learned of life?"
"I'll tell you what I've learned."
I've learned that spitting in-to the wind
is a serious matter,
and that things
laid down easy pick up hard.
I've learned that whisky and men should be tried--
not at all,
in moderation,
in excess
to find what suits;
And that discretion is the better part of valor,
But that indiscretion
is more fun.
And I've learned that love
is not a condition
but a habit,
It can be broken
or accepted,
for the pleasure
and the sorrow that it brings.
And that to live well
and love well
is all that really matters.
That's what I've learned!



 II 1' 30"


 III 1' 30"


Performance Layout


Performance Notes


Woman's Songs grew from a set of poems written by my then wife Kay in the 1980s. Mid-way through as she was writing them we came up with the idea of a musical setting. The first two poems were autobiographical--a bright young persons experiences of growing up in the South. The last, Old Woman's Song was rather easily projected into what Kay thought, hoped? would be her "old age" (alas she never made it). There was to be a fourth song, between the second the last poems, but Kay blocked. She couldn't write anything about that, it was too close to where she actually WAS in life, and too painful, i guess--and so finally I composed an interlude protraying anger, anguish, and despair.We had at that time been married about 15 years, and the idea of a musical settings had seemed easy and natural to us both. The music follows the progression of the text from childhood excitement and disappointment, to a serene acceptance. The chamber version is the original and this version was composed to be performed by several of my friends who were active in the musical scene in Charleston at that time.