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Copland, Aaron – Choirs and Voices – 04 Old American Songs



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Aaron Copland - Long Time Ago

Ching-A-Ring Chaw - Salt Lake Choral Artists Concert Choir

At the River - Aaron Copland

The Boatmen's Dance - Salt Lake Choral Artists Concert Choir


 Charlotte Church - The Little Horses - from Cardiff, Wales

Old American Songs are two sets of songs arranged by Aaron Copland in 1950 and 1952 respectively. Originally scored for voice and piano, they were reworked for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) and orchestra.

  • Set 1 was first performed by Peter Pears (tenor) and Benjamin Britten (piano) on June 17, 1950 at Aldeburgh. The version of Set 1 for baritone and orchestra was premiered on January 7, 1955, by William Warfield and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Alfred Wallenstein.
  • Set 2 was first performed by William Warfield and Aaron Copland (piano) on 25 May 1958 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and later, in its orchestral form, by Grace Bumbry (mezzo-soprano) and the Ojai Festival Orchestra, conducted by the composer, in Ojai, California. Set 2 was recorded by Warfield and Copland on August 18, 1953, for Columbia Records but apparently not publicly performed until the above-mentioned date in Ipswich.

Set 1

  • The Boatman's Dance (minstrel song from 1843)
  • The Dodger (campaign song)
  • Long Time Ago (ballad)
  • Simple Gifts (Shaker song)
  • I Bought Me a Cat (children's song, Roud Folk Song Index No. 544)

Set 2

  • The Little Horses (lullaby)
  • Zion’s Walls (revivalist song)
  • The Golden Willow Tree (Anglo-American ballad)
  • At the River (hymn tune)
  • Ching-A-Ring Chaw (minstrel song)

The source of the experience

Copland, Aaron

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps