Kaiser Bill was commissioned by The Christchurch School's Music Festival Association, director Patrick Shepherd, for performances in 2014, commemorating the outbreak of the 1st world war, in 1914. It is written for two parts: the top part is for untrained singers and non-readers; the second part is more challenging, preferably for children who can read and have a bigger range of notes. The two parts can be trebles, or a mix of trebles and lower voices.
To quote Bernadette Hall, editor of The Judas Tree: Poems by Lorna Staveley Anker: "Lorna Anker was born in 1914 on June 28, the very day Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo". Her life straddled two world wars and many of her poems take these as her subject matter. She could lay claim to being New Zealand's first woman war poet. She wrote later in life that the fears that developed as a young child during the 1st world war came back to haunt her, including fear of the 'bogey-man', the 'Kaiser-in- Blue-Dungarees', named after the German emperor. The poem that this song uses is, also called 'Kaiser Bill', is about a man with a German father who suffers discrimination in New Zealand after the war. However, children enjoy his "crazy song", his dog Bismark, and miss him when he is finally taken away.
There are 2 versions in the download file: lower version (range A flat to D) and higher version (range to C flat to F)
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