The Garland Songs
Linda Tutas Haugen
About this work:
The Garland Songs were composed in 1998 and premiered at
the International Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
(Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids and lived there during early
childhood.) The songs were commissioned by the Judy Garland
Children’s Museum and underwritten by the American Composers
Forum through its Rural Commissioning Program and supported by the
Rockefeller Foundation. The Commission was part of a pilot program
of the ACF for its “Continental Harmony” project, and included
composer-in-residence activities which resulted in contact with over
1100 music students in the public schools, composition and
songwriting workshops and teaching a core group of student
composers in grades six through twelve to write and perform their own
The texts of The Garland Songs are based upon poems written
by Judy Garland in her late teens -- poems that she had printed and
bound in leather and given to a few friends and relatives. They reflect
the thoughts and feelings of a bright, sensitive and insightful young
woman. While much of the poetry is quite dramatic, it is mature
beyond her years, and above all, honest and direct.
I. Lover’s Goodbye to a Departing Soldier uses excerpts from a
much longer poem of the same name. It reflects the feelings of one
being left behind, resignation to the condition of war, and the desire
that however her lover is changed by his ordeal, that he returns.
II. The First Cigarette is a female muse on being glamorous and
pursued. It is the lightest of the four poems and combines innocence
with a sense of humor.
III. My Love Is Lost describes the ending of a relationship in an
eloquent and intimate way. It was obviously written when she was
young and expresses universal feelings of loss.
IV. Homage: The Wish captures her profound yearning to
express through words and song, her deepest feelings of love. It is a
dark, prophetic vision of her struggle as an artist, foreshadowing her
devotion to her audience and her untimely death. The composer has
dedicated this setting as her homage to Judy Garland in gratitude and
respect for her contributions to our artistic heritage.
Ms. Haugen writes: “I always have as my goal to write music that
will be aesthetically significant and of lasting beauty. I hope that I have
in some way enhanced the meaning of these poems that allow us to
look through the window at who Judy Garland was as a young
Year composed: 1998
Ensemble type: Voice, Solo or With Chamber or Jazz Ensemble
Instrumentation: 1 Clarinet, 1 Piano, 1 Cello, ,1 Soprano soloist(s)