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This cycle grew out of a request from the Junior School at Diocesan School for Girls (Auckland) for a work for their annual 'Mothering Sunday' service. Unable to find a suitable poem about mothers I decided that grandmothers might be a suitable substitute. I turned to the poetry of Jack Prelutsky whose work I have often set over the past five or six years, and found Hurry, Grandma Hurry. This became the beginning of a cycle about relatives: in turn grandmother, grandfather, mother and father. Hurry, Grandma Hurry presents us with the typical activities of a young boy or girl while being looked after by a hassled grandmother. The child swings from trees, roller-skates (backwards), threatens to eat a bug and so on. Poor Grandma has trouble keeping up with the pace. Grandpa McWheeze is a rather eccentric fellow who does all sorts of unusual things: standing on his head while buttering his bread, playing bassoons made from prunes and tying springs to his knees. There can be few like him! Oh Mother, I am Blue Today is a short poem which plays on the word blue and its various meanings. Appropriately the music suggests a blues style. The implications of the title of the final piece, When Daddy Sat on the Tomatoes are obvious - he wasn't very pleased at all! The big question is, will somebody own up?
Written for the choirs of the Junior School, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
- Hurry, Grandma Hurry
- Grandpa McWheeze
- O Mother I am Blue Today
- When Daddy sat on the tomatoes
Text by Jack Prelutsky