Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

A tune for “Song of the Boat” from the new book of poetry “Water Sings Blue”

Posted on: May 26, 2012

I was in the bookstore the other day (May 2012) and found,


Water Sings Blue
Poems by Kate Coombs
Illustrated by Meilo So
ISBN-13: 978-0811872843

The book caught my eye for three reasons.  First the word “SING” in the title got me all excited that maybe this book was created to be sung (alas, it was not).  Second, it is filled with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL watercolor-painting illustrations by Meilo So.  I would buy this book of poetry for the pictures alone.  The poems are quite wonderful, too, as anything that would inspire such splendid visual art would indeed have to be wonderful!

The third thing which made me pick up the book and give it a hardly look was thinking again about a little boy Tyler in Mrs. Morgan’s class.  Tyler had once asked me to write him a song about fish, so I came up with a singable limerick “A Fishy Named Stan.”  The other day, however, Tyler said, “Mrs. G, why don’t you write a song about water next.”  Oh, what a delight this little fella is that I’d hate to leave that challenge like that un-met.  I opened the book reading the first poem, “Song of the Boat,” a tune for it magically flowed through me head.

Author Kate Coomb’s webpage for  Song of the Boat,”



Poem by Kate Coombs
Illustrated by Meilo So

Push away from the stillness of the nut-brown land,
from the road that leads to the shore.

Push away from the town with its tight tree roots,
from its closed brown shutters and doors.

Push away—heave ho—from the heavy brown pier,
from its pilings huddled and dull.

For the water sings blue and the sky does, too,
and the sea lets you fly like a gull.


I rumamged through my big-momma shoulder bag for my digital recorder to capture the tune before it flung itself back into the ether of my distrcted mind to find that the recorder was out of battery.  But I had my digital camera!  So I turned it on and sang the tune:

It may not be perfect but, to me, it’s a miracle!  The art of song-writing has always (and will always) mystify me.  So to be given a little tune, regardless of how humble, is joy to me.  A tune just when I needed it!

This has happened only a couple other times and I did get to record one so far, The Last Song.

So this is the beginnings of a little song.  I hope Kate Coombs, should she run across it, will not mind.  I’ve sung it a few times for kids at Tuckahoe and shared the beautiful book, “Water Sings Blue” with them and everyone seemed to enjoy it so far.

Next step is send to the amazing Paul Raiman at to write out/notate the tune, make a piano part for it and a sing-along (he is so good at his job!).   I can’t wait for the next steps in this delightful little creative journey.


Addendum June 2012

I sent the tune video to Paul Raiman at and he created a beautiful arrangement and accompaniment track for the tune.  I’m just so over the moon about it.  Something about this one really touches me and I just love it.  Plus, Paul’s wonderful skill in taking the scattered pieces of things I sent him and putting them together to create something wonderful, makes my every encounter with him like opening a gift on Christmas morning.

SONG OF THE BOAT tune with melody line included:

SONG OF THE BOAT accompaniment:



“Song of the Boat” from WATER SINGS BLUE
Poems by Kate Coombs
Illustrated by Meilo So
Melody by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
Arrangement by Paul Raiman of
Track Prepared by Paul Raiman of

You can hear the tune with melody line included, here:

You can hear (and sing-along with) the accompaniment, here:

Addendum September 27, 2012

It’s a long story how this happened, but I stumbled upon a blog post written by Kate Coombs in which SHE writes about stumbling across the little tune for “Song of the Boat” that magically came to me while I was standing in a bookstore after stumbling across her beautiful book of her poems called Water Sings Blue Here’s a link to that post:

Makes me feel great!  I very much appreciate the positivity.

Even better someone left a comment that they love the song.

I’m all a-twitter.

WATER SINGS BLUE really is such a beautiful book and it was a little bit of magic for the tune to come to me when it did.  Nice that it was found by the author.  It sure would be fun to record the song sometime soon.

Related Posts


An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children



“Song of the Boat” Found by the Author Kate Coombs

A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate the Oceans and Seas


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