*FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE op.275 (March 1979)

Satirical song for vocal group and ensemble, BBC commission
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: BBC Radio 3
Instrumentation: S.A.T.Bar.B. vn,ca,gtr,pno,bass,pc
[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Lyrics by Howard Blake
Duration: 7 mins
First Performance: HB writes: As part of an invitation concert at Broadcasting House, 4.4.1979 given by The Scholars, Howard Blake and ensemble, Paul Hamburger at BBC Radio 3 programmed a performance of 'The New National Songbook' and commissioned a new song for the occasion. I wrote a dark political lyric in a song for 5-part vocal group and ensemble called 'From the Cradle to the Grave' - see text below under Lyrics:

Sheet Music Available
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Lyrics

'From the Cradle to the Grave'

From the cradle to the grave, lovingly protected
Every burden, every woe, tenderly accepted
All the help you need, freely guaranteed
Simply take a form and sign your name;
They will defend you, nurture and tend you
Till Death spreads her wings, calls her children home.

From the cradle to the grave, problems all predicted,
Drugs to make you feel all right, generously prescripted,,
Babies undesired may not be required
Ended in the twinkling of an eye;
They will protect you, heal or vasect you,
Till Death spreads her wings, calls her children home.

From the cradle to the grave,poverty has vanished
Fear of hardship phased away,unemployment banished.
Once you pay your due, paradise comes true
No more harsh realities to face;
They gladly lead you,clothe you and feed you
Till Death spreads her wings, calls her children home.

From the cradle to the grave, nothing is neglected
Every little doubt or fear,carefully rejected
Slogans for the mind, carefully designed
Help us all to feel that we belong;
They will create us, make us or break us
Till Death spreads her wings, calls her children home.

What's that voice I faintly hear,fearfully despairing
Asking what became of love, what became of caring?
Laugh away its fears, ridicule its tears,
Just relax and let the world go by;
They will enfold you, guard you and hold you
Till Death spreads her wings, calls her children home.

Related Works


'*THE NEW NATIONAL SONGBOOK' op.190 (November 1974) (Audio Sample Available)
An entertainment for The Scholars vocal group and ensemble based on the book 'The English Difference' by Paul Jennings and others
'LULLABY' op.214 (December 1975)
Words and music for a 'christmas narrative' for a cappella vocal group, commissioned by The Scholars and containing the melody later to be developed into 'Walking in the Air'
'*OH PLEASE DO NOT KISS ME' op.273 (December 1978)
A glee in 5 parts composed for The Scholars

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