final score_0001.png

Seven Years Waiting

There is an old Irish folksong about a woman waiting for her lost love, a sailor who

left promising to return to her soon. Seven years later, the woman is working in her

father's garden and a gentleman approaches her, asking to court her. She politely

declines, saying she is waiting for her sailor who has yet to return after seven years. 

The man tells the woman that her sailor is most likely dead, which she replies by

saying "if he be married, wish him plenty. If he be drowned then I wish him rest" 

(the words vary from version to version, though the meaning is consistent in each).

The man then takes out a ring - one that matches one the woman has - and she

realizes he is her sailor. This piece is a collection of seven miniatures each

representing a year of waiting - exploring the emotions the woman must have gone

through during her long years of waiting. The melody of the original folk tune can

be heard throughout the piece - often altered or buried.


Seven Years Waiting is a piece for oboe, two clarinets, alto saxophone, bassoon and

double bass originally written and performed at the fresh inc festival. The

commission was made possible by the Stephen R. Gerber Trust. 

                                                                                                                                                           Contact Abigail Johnson for score and parts at