Poor Me!

Georges Bizet/adapted/arr. Karl Hitzemann

I had a really good time writing the lyrics for "Poor Me!" All I had to do was channel my dear daughter, Emma. Emma had the classic teenager "Poor me!" or "Why me?" gene that seemed to kick in anytime a chore or task was needed to be performed. Such horrible and unreasonable endeavors like emptying the dishwasher, or feeding the dogs, or doing her homework. "I never have any time for myself!" she would often proclaim. Now, I am exaggerating all of this just a bit, of course. Emma is a great kid who is now a freshman in college. Actually, because of all of her AP credits, she started out her first year as a sophomore. And that's despite all of those chores we made her do! Needless to say, we're pretty darn proud of her.

However, I just couldn't resist turning these amusing memories into a song. When deciding how to go about this, the melody to "Habanera" from Bizet's classic opera Carmen popped into my head. It seemed to be a perfect fit! The great thing about this piece is that you can have a lot of fun and silliness singing it, but the accompaniment track itself is a very legitimate rendition right from Bizet's opera. So, you can also use this as a classical music lesson if you want – opera music, music from the Romantic Period, Georges Bizet, etc.

Performance suggestions - This would be a great song to perform in a concert setting. It's sure to get a lot of laughs and a lot of parents nodding their heads in understanding and agreement. It would also be a great chance to feature an outgoing, gregarious singer if you have one in your choir. You could approach this a couple of ways. One way would be to have a soloist sing the first two verses (through measure 20) and then have the whole choir join in for the "Poor me!" chorus at measure 21. Then go back to the soloist at measure 28, and then to the choir from the chorus to the end. The other possibility is to just let your soloist sing the entire song and really ham it up. As luck would have it, we had a couple of incredible soloists on our recording session. One of them, Grace Morgan, has been singing for us since she was a child. She went on to become a bonafide Broadway performer in New York City. The other, Emery Allen, is a young Broadway star in the making. They each recorded a solo version of the song and you can hear them both on our web site. They did an amazing job and are sure to provide a lot of inspiration to your performers. Just like my Emma provided the inspiration for this song. – KH

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.