I shall light a candle (SSAA)

Music: Trad. Bengali arr. Sheena Phillips. Words: Trad. Bengali and 2 Esdras 14
performance time approx 3m 00s
Range S1: b♭ – g'' / S2: b♭ – e'' / A1: g – b' / A2: f – g'
Price code: C
Complexity: ***

See a perusal copy (PDF format) of the music.
This copy is not licensed for rehearsal, performance or recording.
Hear a MIDI rendering of I shall light a candle
This piece interweaves two texts, one from a Bengali song about the uncertainty of life, the other, from 2 Esdras 14v25, offering a ‘candle of understanding’. The Bengali song first appears as a duet between Soprano 2 and Alto 1 voices. Alto 2s then introduce the Apocryphal text and a new melody, against a flickering chordal background representing the light of a candle. In the last third of the piece, the two melodies and texts are combined. It’s effective to add a light percussion accompaniment (e.g. tambourine on the three main beats of each bar, and light drum taps on each eighth note - as in the audio realization).

Also available for SATB voices.

Pronunciation guide included


I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out.
From the Apocrypha: 2 Esdras 14, v.25

Jahoori jahoor re chenei, katooriai kaat,
Rakhalia krishak a chenei fasholeri maat,
Sharno karei shona chenei kashurura kasha,
shati nari janei shudhu patir bhalobasha,
Aami konu kisu chinlam narei,
kulkinara pailam na pabashastra bujhlam na.
Traditional Bengali song


Jewelers, they know their jewels, woodcutters know their wood,
Farmers know their field of barley and their field of corn,
Goldsmiths know their golden bracelets, silversmiths their silver,
The good woman only knows the love of her husband.
But I have little understanding,
I don't know which way to go, I don't know the way of life.

Purchase – 3040: I shall light a candle (SSAA)

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