Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Swing, A Singable Poem…Additional Info

Posted on: April 22, 2011

The Swing,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, from his collection, “A Child’s Garden of Verses”  is one of my favorite Singable Poems!

Two illustrations for “The Swing” by the fabulous illustrator EULALIE :

This one was first published in “The Bumper Book,”

This posts contains some new items recently gathered about the poem. 
For the full article, click here:

You can find an excellent traditional waltz for singing this poem, sung “The Cedarmont Kids,” here: 
(Track 16 of Disk 3)

The music is printed in,

Kids Classics Collection 2 (80 Classic songs for Kids)
Easy Piano-Vocal Arrangements in Singable Keys
Music Arranged by Matt Huesmanna nd Chris Davis
Vocal Arrangements by Mike Gay
Published by Cedarmont Music LLC
“The Swing” is printed on p.110

Click here for an archival summary of musical settings of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry:

I’m thrilled to write that “The Swing” is one of the songs we selected to be part of
Oh, What a Beautiful Day: Sing Books with Emily, the Cabaret.” 

I make a strong committment to each song I perform and completing my Song Craft Worksheet is part of that process,

 Emily’s Song Craft Worksheet

Because the first section of the Song Craft Worksheet involves background research on the song, I’ll share the answers with you so you can know about the song, too.  The more about the song you know (both concrete facts and less tangible artistic choices), the more “authority,” and heart and soul you can put into the singing and sharing of the song with others.  If you are interested in improving your artistic abilities for singing songs in any capacity, just simply filling out the Song Craft Worksheet is a great place to start!  After the background research, the rest of the Song Craft Worksheet gets VERY personal…don’t worry!  I won’t bore you with that.

1 Q: Who wrote the words?
1 A: Robert Louis Stevenson

2Q: Who wrote the music?
2A: The tune is considered “Traditional,” meaning that the exact origins of the tune are either ancient or ambiguous and that the tune is so ubiquitous it can’t be attributed one person.  The tune belongs to everyone and is in ”The Public Domain.”

3Q: When was the song written?
3A: The poem was written by RLS and first published in 1885

4Q: At what point in the lyricists’ and composer’s career was the song written?
4A: RLS was born in 1850 and died young in 1894.  He published “Child’s Garden” in 1885, just after writing “Treasure Island” but before writing “Jekyll and Hyde.”

5Q: What is the song from?
5A: RLS collection of poems, “A Child’s Garden of Verses”

6Q: If from a show, what character sang it?
6A: NA

7Q: If from a show, from what situation does the song arise?  Why does the character sing the song?  What function does the song/character play in the story?
7A: NA

8Q:  What other contextual elements of the song are significant?
8A: For me, I’ve always loved to swing on a swing set and always seek them out.  Plus, when my children were babies, it was the wonderful swing we had that helped them fall asleep on many nights.  We’d put ‘em in the swing and they’d start snoozin’ and that was joy for us parents!

9Q: Was the song written for a particular singer?  Why?
9A: NA

10Q: If not from a show, why did the songwriter write the song?
10A: NA

11Q: What do you feel the lyricist is trying to say?
11A: Swinging is a joy of childhood, giving a sense freedom and wonder.

12Q: Does the song tell a story or just express feelings or ideas?
12A: This song expresses feelings and ideas about a child’s joy on a swing.

13Q: Who else has recorded this song:

The rest of the questions require VERY personal answers and I will spare you those!

Related Articles:




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Calendar of SBWE Posts


%d bloggers like this: