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Based on existing melodies and texts dating from the 19th century, these three a cappella folksong settings were written for the 2009 – 2010 NZSSC to sing at the 2010 International Choral Kathaumixw in British Columbia, Canada, held in July 2010.
The settings were based on existing folk melodies and texts and were designed to challenge the choir. Soon May the Wellerman Come is a whaling song which makes a reference to provisioning ships, owned by Weller Brothers of Sydney. These ships visited the men at whaling stations. The lyrical Darling Johnny O is a mournful tale of a woman's search for her love, lost at sea. The rousing Rise Out Your Bed relates a tale of domestic dispute, where the husband and wife snipe at each other, but cover up their disagreement when visited by a neighbouring farmer.
Commissioned by Andrew Withington and the 2009 – 2010 New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir
Suitable for The BIG SING, and chamber choirs
Andrew Withington and the members of the 2009 – 2010 New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir
1. Soon May the Wellerman Come
2. Darling Johnny O
3. Rise Out Your Bed
Both 'Soon May the Wellerman Come' and 'Darling Johnny O' are anonymous. The lyrics to 'Rise Out Your Bed' are attributed to John Barr (1809 - 1889), a Scottish – New Zealand poet, who was the founder of the NZ Robert Burns Society and considered the Laureate of Otago Province.