The Mocking Bird’s Question (Jacob Franklin King)

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  • (Posted 2023-11-06)  CPDL #76986:     
Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-06).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 521 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: The Mocking Bird’s Question
Composer: Jacob Franklin King
Lyricist: Florence N. Reynolds
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1901 J. F. King, publisher

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

In the orange tree in the distance,
I hear the mocking bird sing;
O bright and sunny the weather,
Now in the early spring.

His notes are clear and mellow,
Melodious to the ear,
He merrily asks the question:
“What cheer? What cheer? What cheer?”

Still every spring I hear it,
The notes to my heart are dear;
From orange, magnolia, or pine tree,
The mocking bird’s question, “what cheer.”

Dear little bird, should I answer?
Do you think you could ever know?
The height of human pleasure,
The depth of human woe?

Sing to your mate in the treetop,
Your song so sweet and clear,
But ask not your mortal neighbor
The question of “What cheer?”