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Those Who Wish To Sing Always Find a Song

The joy of "tra-la-la" (In nine languages!)
Swedish proverb
Commissioned by Farmington High School Friends of Music / Scott Campbell

This rhythmically engaging song based on a Swedish proverb features singing syllables from around the world, including such gems as “tra-la-la-le-ru-la,” “la déri don,” “ay dam tarradam,” and “su-de-rut-tan-tei.”

This song is included on the CD, Finally On My Way To Yes, which may be ordered below.


Item Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Audio Peruse Delivery Method (Print vs. Digital) Price Quantity
SEA-144-00 SSA, oboe, piano - Choral Score
3'00" M Sheet Music $2.25
SEA-144-00DEL SSA, oboe, piano - Choral Score
3'00" M Licensed PDF $2.25
SEA-144-01F SSA, oboe, piano - Oboe Part
(Click on PDF icon to download part)
3' M Free PDF $0.00

"Those who wish to sing always find a song" - Swedish proverb

Su-de-rut-tan-tei (Sweden)
Tyr-a-li, tyr-a-lo (Ireland)
Ay dam tar-ra-dam (Russian Gypsy)
Ho-la-li, ho-la-ho(Germany/Scandinavia)
Fad-de-rul-lan-dei (Norway)
La dé-ri don la (France)
Ten-nen-ni, ten-nen-nen-ni (Turkey)
Tra-la-la-le-ru-la (Italy)

Composer's Note: 

Sometimes when we really want to accomplish something, the exact tools we need present themselves to us. A stranger might give us directions when we are lost. A coach might teach us how to throw a ball. A friend might know exactly what to say to us when we are feeling down.

The perfect tool might come from a mysterious place. Sometimes when I am trying to solve a problem in a lyric or a piece of music, the solution comes to me during the night, popping into my conscious mind as soon as I wake up.

And at times the tool might arrive in a very surprising way! Once when my sister was very angry at me, an old friend wrote me a letter out of the blue, and one random sentence in her letter showed me exactly what I needed to do in order to mend my relationship with my sister.

Of course, we do not always receive the tools we need. Sometimes we remain confused, sometimes we fail at what we try to do, and sometimes nothing will cheer us, or inspire us, or lead us in the right direction. Despite this, the one thing I DO know is that in order to receive the tools we need, we have to be OPEN to receiving them. We must be able to say to ourselves and others: "I could use some help here" and then to say "Thanks, I needed that!"

In your own life, do you need a song of strength, a song of joy, a song of peace, a song of playfulness, or a perhaps song of understanding? If you truly wish to devote your life to singing about something, I believe you will find that song. Perhaps it will be taught to you by someone, perhaps you will hear it while you are in a car or on a bus, or perhaps you will compose it yourself while you wake or sleep. If you are able to say with an open heart and an open mind: "Gee, I sure could use a certain kind of song right now," I believe that song will find its way into your life.

A note about the vocables: When I began searching for singing syllables from around the world, I had no idea the task would prove to be so fascinating. For several months I carried on a correspondence with choral directors and linguists from around the world, who offered me singing syllables (vocables), guidance on pronunciation and usage, relevant books and articles, and their enthusiasm and encouragement. Some of these syllables are from very localized dialects, while others are from much wider regions. To my helpers everywhere, thank you so very much!


Premiere: Farmington District Elementary Choirs / Scott Campbell (Farmington, CT)
All-County Women's Choir of Chautauqua County / Nancy Krestic (Chautauqua, NY)
Amadeus Chorale / Darla Bair (Brockport and Rochester, NY)
Amherst Bel Canto Choir / Marjorie Bohn (Silver Creek, NY)
Angelica Cantanti Youth Choir / Ann Schrooten (Bloomington, MN)
Anima Singers / Emily Ellsworth (Chicago, IL)
Coro Giovanile / Joan Yakkey (Tuscany and Florence, ITALY)
Coro Giovanile / Joan Yakkey. 800th Anniversary of Dresden and Reopening of Frauenkirche after WWII (Dresden, GERMANY)
Evanston Children’s Choir / Kate Ulett (Evanston, IL)
New Jersey Children's Choir / Carol Richardi (Upper Montclair, NJ)
Pacific International Choral Festival Children's Choir / Susan Brumfield (Eugene, OR)
South Dakota Elementary Honors Choir / Ann Schrooten (Brookings, SD)
Springfield Children's Chorus / Kayla Werlin (Amherst, Brookline and Springfield, MA)
Traverse City High School Vocal Majority / Wendee Wolf-Schlarf. Michigan School Vocal Music Association (Grand Rapids, MI)

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