Listen: A Choral Reworking of John Lennon’s ‘I Sat Belonely’ Poem

Drawing by John Lennon, from In His Own Write

Here is an interesting concept. John Lennon’s characteristically dadaist poem ‘I Sat Belonely’ from his 1964 book In His Own Write has been given a beautiful choral reinvention with surprisingly sensitive results. 1964 was often referred to by Lennon as his “Fat Elvis” period, overwhelmed by the weight of their success at the height of Beatlemania.

Note the way the piece utilises a bucket-load of Beatles songwriting techniques, but most notably ending on the Beatles’ trademark 6th chord (Db6 in this case).

You can listen to it below and read the entire poem after the jump.

Performed by Ben England, musical director for a number of choirs in Bristol, England.

Arrangement by George Godwin, a young English composer.

I Sat Belonely

I sat belonely down a tree,
humbled fat and small.
A little lady sing to me
I couldn’t see at all.

I’m looking up and at the sky,
to find such wonderous voice.
Puzzly, puzzle, wonder why,
I hear but I have no choice.

“Speak up, come forth, you ravel me”,
I potty menthol shout.
“I know you hiddy by this tree”,
But still she won’t come out.

Such sofly singing lulled me sleep,
an hour or two or so
I wakeny slow and took a peep
and still no lady show.

Then suddy on a little twig
I thought I see a sight,
A tiny little tiny pig,
that sing with all it’s might.

“I thought you were a lady”,
I giggle – well I may,
To my surprise the lady,
got up and flew away.

-James Godwin, May 14th, 2011

Copyright © 2011. James Godwin. All rights reserved.