Night Storm alternate lyrics (ending)
Found in: Foundation Songs
Ian B., California
Regarding Night Storm in F1, I cannot find even a mention of the “alternate” tailpiece lyrics (snuggle up real tight) which are shown in parentheses just below “listen to the night.” It suddenly occurred to me that no one ever talks about it? Is it as I thought an “alternate” ending or is there some other purpose? “Snuggle up real tight” also does not appear in the sheet music. Just curious.
Mark M., New York
A few years ago I came up with a theory about this. Proper playing of the song relies on students breaking the pattern of the groups of 2 to do only 2 groups instead of 3 instead the second half of the song, moving straight to the tailpiece instead. No matter how diligent I am in teaching this aspect of the song in class, every so often, a student comes back playing all 3 groups of 2 in both halves and then going to the tailpiece. If one reads through *all* the printed lyrics, including both alternatives for the last line, that’s exactly the right amount of lyric to fill this incorrect playing of the piece. I started to wonder if Neil was being devious here, throwing in that alternative lyric as a deliberate potential confusion, to see just how much students are paying attention to the correct steps for a proper performance of the piece. If I’m right about this, then it would be counterproductive for Neil to say too much or anything about it in the SHM. Anyway, that’s my theory.
Felicity E., Australia
I always thought it was just two different lyrical endings. If written it would either have both melody lines under the melody notation or a repeat (1st ending) with a 2nd ending for the alternate ending. I always have them sing it twice through with both endings. Gives the song more length.
OK, happy to set the record straight here. I must admit, it’s a little amusing to hear the stories and interpretations. Night Storm was one of the first pieces I composed for Wade (the blind student that I worked with over 20 years ago). At the time, he was the only student I had in mind when I was writing the song, and he was young, so the notion of the lyrics, “Snuggle up real tight”, as childish as they are, felt quite normal and appropriate. Naturally, I included the song in the core curriculum – it’s a lovely vignette and has great practical learning value. However, over time, and with SM appealing to so many adults, I felt a more mature lyric would be a more sensible addition. Initially, I left both options available, with “Listen to the night” becoming the predominant lyric, and “Snuggle up real tight) being included (in parentheses), below the new lyric. It actually still appears this way in the Reference Materials, but no longer on the sheet music. These days, I oscillate between leaving it there or removing it. I must admit, I sort of like leaving it there and not providing an explanation – it’s fun to leave people guessing sometimes. Anyway, that’s the factual, actual story, straight from the horses mouth !!.
Cate R., Australia
If you use the chord arrangement, warp the speed a little and sing NS in a jazz style the ‘ listen to the night ‘ sits perfectly.
Jacqui G., Canada
Thanks Neil, I was just about to chime in with your explanation (as it was taught to me in training). Students ALWAYS ask about this, and I just tell them that the alternate lyrics allow the song to be a baby’s lullaby or a more grown-up song, and they can choose which line they prefer. One of my adult students would play it for her autistic granddaughter, who got upset unless she used “all the words”, so we figured out a sweet way to do this! I routinely teach it this way now.
1) Play through the song as directed, with the downward melody line for “listen to the night” at the end of the second verse.
2) Add the line “snuggle up real tight” as a tailpiece, same five notes but slow down the tempo. Makes a lovely, quiet, dramatic ending.