Raisins and Almonds

adapted/arr. Karl Hitzemann

"Raisins and Almonds" is an old Jewish lullaby written in 1880 by Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908). It speaks of a snowy white goat that goes to the market to bring raisins and almonds to a child during the night. Raisins and almonds were some of the most luxurious things one could imagine in the old Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. The melody is very sweet and almost haunting.

For our setting of this piece, we decided to make it into a partner song. Part 1 features Goldfaden's melody. Part 2 is an original melody which uses the same lyrics. And, of course, since it's a partner song, the two melodies are sung together the third time through the song. The accompaniment features clarinet, flute, piano, bass, solo cello (played by cellist, Dennis McCafferty), and strings. We've provided you with a full, playable piano part, as well as the cued cello solo, but the recorded accompaniment really sets the mood for this song.

Note also that the song is in a harmonic minor key. This will provide a nice challenge for your students - singing a C-sharp in the key of D minor. This would be a good introduction to a discussion on the various types of minor keys (natural, harmonic, and melodic).

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.