Music by Daniel Kallman
Lyrics by Christine Kallman
Soprano solo voice, piano; 3’00”
From the family holiday musical Donata’s Gift by Christine & Daniel Kallman
A widow’s song of longing and love for the children she never had.
Collect the laundry, knead the bread.
The fussy chickens have been fed, a pile of stockings yet to sew.My money purse is feeling slim.
Did I collect the change from him?
I mustn’t let my funds run low!
Start the fire, put on the stew,
So many things one has to do.
Cast aside all thoughts of sleep
For I must sow if I would reap.
We weren’t put in this world to rest,
To chatter idly or to jest.
Good heavens! Time again to sweep!
(spoken) I hate this dark house, this wretched town! But away from here an old woman is less than nothing. My money purse! I must keep you in a safe place. My husband left just barely enough. Hey! You children go away and let an old woman be! Who do you think I am–Old Befana, that I will stuff your slippers with candy?! Befana indeed! I have work to do!
Roll out the biscuits, make the bed,
Don’t stop to make acquaintances .
It’s safe that way, I must confess.
I judge my life and then conclude
If I must have an attitude,
Why shouldn’t it be bitterness?
Epiphany– in just a day
All the world will dance away.
But all this foolishness
Seems utterly ridiculous!
While all the world its pageant plays
Donata will live out her days
In solitude and brokenness!
So much foolishness . .
Long ago, my life was only waiting.
Long ago, I waited for someone–
To hold and caress, to share with– to love!
A little girl I thought I’d hold, perhaps a boy–my child!
Ev’ryday I swept, I baked; each day was all for you,
But you don’t come!
One day this doll was to be yours,
And for my boy this tiny trumpet.
We’d dance and laugh and play.
and when the night was closing in I’d sing a song like this:
(Lullaby) A lullaby so sweet and tender I will sing to thee.
My one delight, oh babe of babes, you will always be.
Gently smooth your worried brow,
Enclose within your eyelids now
The day’s refrain of weal and woe
And quickly to your slumber go in all security.
The world may close its heart to you,
But my arms open wide.
Tomorrow’s sorrows welcome not, but here in peace abide.
Hush my chubby cherub, hush,
And nestle near where I may touch
Your tiny hand and blushing cheek,
So totally disarmed in sleep.
I bid you now good night.
–Christine Kallman, 1998, All Rights Reserved.