Valley, The

Conductor Notes:

SSAA and piano. My thanks to Kellie Walsh of Lady Cove Women’s Choir in St. John’s, Newfoundland, for introducing me and my singers to this gorgeous piece. The altos are particularly thrilled to have the melody more than once. All ranges are on the low side – something that works really well for the style, but which would put this out of range for a younger children’s choirs. Beth has had to notate the twists and turns of some folksong style phrasing, and this is the most challenging aspect of learning the piece.

Composer / Arranger Notes:

Beth Hanson writes: Since I saw Jane perform live at UWO’s Althouse Auditorium back in 1984, the depth and universality of the emotional experience in her songs had always pulled me in. I became reacquainted with The Valley as a result of kd Lang’s album Hymns of the 49th Parallel, and loved the messages of reassurance, companionship and spirituality I felt the song contained for me, especially after the death of my mother. If one word only could be used to describe The Valley it would be bittersweet. “Sometimes you feel all that you wanted has been taken away” is a line that was at the same time heartbreaking and comforting, and a perfect summary of emotion for many who have experienced loss.

References:

This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.

Recordings

Collections:

Concerts:

I live in the hills
You live in the valleys
And all that you know
Are these blackbirds
You rise every morning
Wondering what in the world will the world bring today
Will it bring you joy or will it take it away
And every step you take is guided by
The love of the light on the land
And the blackbird’s cry

You will walk
You will walk
You will walk in good company

The valley is dark
The burgeoning holding
The stillness obscured by their judging
You walk through the shadows
Uncertain and surely hurting
Deserted by the blackbirds
And the staccato of the staff
And though you trust the light
Towards which you wend your way
Sometimes it feels all that you wanted
Has been taken away

You will walk
You will walk
You will walk in good company

I love the best in you
You love the best in me
Though it’s not always easy
Lovely, lonely

We will walk
We will walk
We will walk in good company
The shepherd upright and flowing
You see