by Teresa Jennings
This lovely song is based on Johann Pachelbel's famous chord progression for his "Canon in D." There are variations, however, from the original, and the actual melody and countermelodies, etc., are never used. Instead, there is an original melody which tells the story of a little baby "who loved with all his heart." Right off the bat, you could read a sacred theme into this text, even though it never specifies anything sacred. If you are a little nervous about the possibility that it might be interpreted as sacred and you can't use it that way, you might consider changing the pronoun "he" to "she." Then it is just a story about a little girl. Or you could completely rewrite the lyrics to suit your needs.
As you will hear if you have the P/A Cassette, part I is a solo. This is optional, of course. You could have a group of singers perform part I, or you could use a soloist, duet, trio, or alternate soloists, etc. Part II enters at measure 25 for the first time, and part III joins in at the same place on the repeat. Except for the soloist's lyrics, the entirety of the song is based on "ooh," "ah," and "harmony."
This song is very special to us - not just because we happen to like it a lot - but because we actually hired strings for the performance on the P/A cassette. This is a first for Music K-8. We were so inspired by the tune, we wanted to get the most out of it that we could, thereby making it equally special for you and your students. What you hear on the cassette is a string section including violins, violas and celli. For most of the tune, they are a continuous pad which crescendos to grandeur after the coda.
The P/A cassette is an excellent resource on this song for just listening. Both side 1 and side 2 are superb. Side 1 includes the children's voices and could be used as a teaching reference. It is also a joy to listen to for the sheer pleasure of it. Side 2 reveals the orchestration more clearly because there are no children's voices on it. You could use it to focus on the strings with your students. Listen also for the soprano sax solo, the duet between the sax and the violin, and the countermelodies in the celli and upper strings at measure 49. During the last time through the phrase, you will also hear the addition of timpani and brass for the big ending.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.