Tuesday, April 10, 2007

with thoughts of rachel


who killed cock robin?
(adaptation by martin & peter wesley-smith)

Cock Robin is dead.
He died early this morning after suffering from
loss of balance, tremors, and convulsions.
An enquiry is being held into the cause of death ...

All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing
When they heard of the death of poor Cock Robin
When they heard of the death of poor Cock Robin

Cock Robin is dead!
Cock Robin is dead!

Who saw him die?

from the program notes:
When I first read, as a teenager, Rachel Carson's book The Silent Spring, I was naive enough to believe that the world would heed her urgent warnings and act immediately to stop poisoning our environment and to implement effective conservation policies. But when, twenty years later, I started researching an idea for a piece based on an English folk-song I'd enjoyed as a child, I was shocked to find that the situation had deteriorated far beyond what Ms Carson had described. It became clear that the sparrow's bow and arrow was, in reality, a chemical that an uncle of mine, Brian Wesley-Smith, had campaigned against for years: DDT. Who Killed Cock Robin? was commissioned, and first performed, by what was then the Sydney University Chamber Choir - Martin Wesley-Smith, Oct 1997

this poor robin was found lying on the ground yesterday, perhaps our heavy april snow played a role, alas, who killed cock robin?

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