For moderate to advanced SATB choir with some divisi (could be done with 2 people per part, would work better with 4 or more). The piece includes several key changes. If you’d like to make a donation to charity for the use of this piece, please click here.
The words are by Mohamed Assaf, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee who now lives in England. They are also published in England: Poems from a School (published by Picador; edited by Kate Clanchy, Mohamed’s teacher). Thank you to Kate and Mohamed for giving me permission to use this heartbreaking text.
Once, I lived in a beautiful town;
Once, I owned a beautiful house,
with a grand garden full of flowers,
and I was prince of it all. Once,
I lived in a house with a name;
And now, I am just a number.
Nations talked to nations
and robbed me of myself.
They made me
a number among millions.
But my rights have no number.
My home had no number.
I could not count the petals of the flowers.
My childhood in the garden
had no limits on it.
Take me back to my country
and I can show you the numbers.
The numbers who suffer.
The quantities of beauty.
The fallen flowers.
Mohamed Assaf (12)