What's Too Sad?
I have not hidden the fact that I've had a hard time finding a publisher. I only say that to preface this story.
I received another rejection notice from a publisher today. I've received many from this publisher. I don't know why I keep trying. Perhaps, this particular publisher is usually so blunt and sometime almost harsh in the response that I feel a need to be vindicated and finally submit something that they will agree to publish.
This rejection notice was different, though. In this instance, the rejection had nothing to do with the music, but instead the lyrics. This was my setting of Felicia Heman's (1793-1835) poem entitled The Child's First Grief. I called my setting, Oh, Call Him Back to Me.It's a beautifully haunting piece.
The publisher agreed. The comment was "Such sad lyrics. I don't think there would be many takers. Sorry."
My thought was, "What's wrong with sad?" Has our society become so emotionally unstable that we can't stand the thought of being sad? I get the publisher's point of view...sort of. They have to keep their bottom line in mind. If they believe a title won't sell, they won't publish it. But just turning it down because it's sad, I don't agree with. Sad doesn't mean bad. Sad doesn't mean that people won't perform it (it's been performed twice already - once by a high school and once by a university).
Sometimes we need sad. Sometimes we need a chance to let ourselves feel...anything!
Oh Call Him Back to Me is set for SSA choir and piano.
Sheet music available at CadenzaOne.com
Hear the University of Washington Women's Choir perform this song from May 2017.
Composer, Choral Conductor, DMA Student,