Songs of William F. Cody (2012)

Soprano and piano
Duration: ca. 6:30

I. How the West Was Won (text by Stacey Philipps)
II. Rough Riders of the West (text from period posters)
III. Buffalo Bill’s (text by e.e. cummings)

This short, moving song cycle explores the topics of humanity and mortality through the lens of the life of Buffalo Bill Cody, an icon as complicated and fallible as any of us. The cycle begins with a lullaby moving from infancy to adulthood, commenting on Cody’s path through life and on the question of heroism. The second song takes the fun and melodramatic stance of stadium announcer at the internationally famous Wild West show of Buffalo Bill, which brought a taste of the American West around the world. The last song — a great encore piece on any program — is an ironic and emotional look at the life of this iconic figure.