Snow Day —2006

Snow Day was commissioned by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts through a Project Serving Artists Grant. The piece was written for the Riverside Symphonia and the Chorus of South Hunterdon Regional High School, conducted by Mariusz Smolij. Mary Liz McNamara wrote the brilliantly funny lyrics.

Program Note

Mary Liz McNamara and I spent several afternoons at South Hunterdon Regional High School brainstorming stories and lyrics for this song cycle with the middle school and high school students. We had a lot of fun working on the project with them, and were delighted by their enthusiasm both in helping us create the work, and performing the world premiere in front of an enthusiastic subscription audience on the Riverside Symphonia’s holiday concert in Lambertville, NJ.


I. The Dream of Snow

II. Hurry Up

III. Three Little Kids

IV. At the Top of a Really Big Hill

V. Hot Chocolate


I. The Dream of Snow

Deep deep
Sleep sleep
Quiet quiet white
Houses dark with
Soft nothing
Hush billowing drifting

I have an American history quiz second period tomorrow.
There are about a million and a half dates i need to know.

Only a blizzard can save me from flunking history.
Hoping wishing dreaming of ten feet of snow.
There’s a polar bear!
I must be dreaming.
Look! A polar bear!
Sledding on an avalanche.
Snow is swirling ev’rywhere.
Reindeer flying overhead.
Sledding with a polar bear.

And ev’rywhere it’s blowing,
Whistling, swirling, churning, whooshing
Listen: listen: listen:

Ocean ocean dizzying
Failing history
Imagine a world made of soft
Pieces of billowing
Flunking dark
The softest world is snow

II. Hurry Up

So it’s hurry hurry hurry
Hurry up!
Grab my jacket over there.
Get my socks, long underwear.
Where? Where? Where? Where?
Where is my other boot?

Now it’s hurry hurry hurry
Hurry up!
Cover up from head to toe.
On your mark, get set and go.
Go! Go! Go! Go!
Go get my other boot!

Mom says “stop! Eat some toast.”
But all my friends are waiting
And i’m starting to sweat, starting to roast.
I gotta get outside.
I’m not hungry.
Eat some toast.
I’m in a hurry.
Eat some toast.
They’re all waiting.
Eat some toast.
I’ll eat it later.
Eat it now
I’ll take it with me.
Eat it here.
Cross my heart.
Eat it here.
Eat it all.
Eat it now!

So it’s hurry hurry hurry.
Hurry up!
Hurry up and eat the toast.
Cause the thing i want the most
Is to step outside that door.
Let it snow and snow some more.
So i chew and chew and chew.
Still there’s one thing left to do.
I still need to find my other boot!

III. Three Little Kids

We are three little kids
At the bottom of a really big hill
Having no fun at all
‘Cuz we’re small.
Watching those big kids fly.
Wishing so much that we were those big kids way up high
On the top of this really big hill.

IV. At the Top of a Really Big Hill

Dragging our sled to the top
No stopping us now!
We’re ready! Ready!
Push off and then we’re flying again!
Look out below!
Look out below!
Wheee! Yeah!

A second is all and then it’s done
But nothing is half as much fun
As the wind and the snow and the chill
And the whoosh and the wheeee!   And the thrill
As we barrel straight down
From the top of this really big hill.

[snowball fight…]

Snow inside my mittens.
I can’t feel my thumb.
Walking getting harder
Cause my feet are getting numb.
Outside all day…
Turning to ice…
I’m freezing… Frigid…

V. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate (hot)
Help me, i’m freezing.
Feed me hot chocolate. (hot)
To warm me up.
One sip can melt a snowman,
Cure a cold,
Better than a pot of gold that’s hot chocolate

I’m going home
In search of choc’late.
Hot steaming chocolate mmm…
I’m coming home.
Can’t wait to wrap my hands around a cup
Sip it, slurp it, drink it up
My hot chocolate.

Shake snow off my boots.
Then throw off my coat and hat.
My nose down to my toes i’m  frozen
I’m so cold and exhausted
I need to be defrosted
Don’t gimme a hug;
I need a mug of

Hot chocolate (hot)
Milk with a fever.
Whipped cream on chocolate mmm…
Magical drink.
Outside the snow is piling up and up.
Let it blow, i’ve got my cup
Of hot chocolate.

Deep deep
Sleep sleep
I have an American history quiz second period tomorrow.
Let it snow