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Green Finch & Linnet Bird by Sondheim

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Published on Nov 10, 2008

Senior Recital
featuring Catherine Garner on piano
December 2, 2006 at ECU Fletcher Recital Hall

from Sweeney Todd
Composed by Stephen Sondheim

Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird,
How is it you sing?
How can you jubilate, sitting in cages,
Never taking wing?

Outside the sky waits, beckoning, beckoning,
Just beyond the bars.
How can you remain,
Staring at the rain,
Maddened by the stars?

How is it you sing anything?
How is it you sing?

Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird,
How is it you sing?

Whence comes this melody constantly flowing?
Is it rejoicing or merely halloing?
Are you discussing or fussing
Or simply dreaming?
Are you crowing?
Are you screaming?

Ringdove and robinet, is it for wages,
Singing to be sold?
Have you decided it's safer in cages,
Singing when you're told?

My cage has many rooms, damask and dark.
Nothing there sings, not even my lark.
Larks never will, you know,
When they're captive.
Teach me to be more adaptive.

Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird,
Teach me how to sing.
If I cannot fly, let me sing.

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