What the Bird Said Early in the Year
An a cappella setting for mixed chorus of a poem by C. S. Lewis.

Duration: 3' 15"
Difficulty: 4/5

Click here to view score.
What the Bird Said Early in the Year
C. S. Lewis

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older by the well-worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! – the gates are drawn apart.

Copyright 1964 by The Executors of the Estate of C. S. Lewis. Text used by express permission of the CS Lewis Company Ltd.
Commission & Performance History
What the Bird Said Early in the Year was premiered on 29 July and 6 August 2008 in Oxford and Cambridge at the C. S. Lewis Foundation’s Oxbridge 2008 conference by the C. S. Lewis Summer Institute Chorale conducted by Stanley L. Roberts of Mercer College.

St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, under the direction of Timothy J. Krueger, performed the work in Denver, CO in June 2010.