PASSENDALE – from Crimson (the cantata)

by Larry Nickel

Home 9 Composers 9 Larry Nickel 9 PASSENDALE – from Crimson (the cantata)

featuring the Cypress Studio Singers with Dr. Calvin Dyck on violin

featuring the Halifax Camerata directed by Jeff Joudrey


A raw recruit was I 
fresh off the farm from southern Manitoba.
My story begins and ends here, in Passendale.

Winter came early to the trenches,
like two black snakes writhing through the snow.
Side by side and not too far apart,
two armies face each other;
ankle deep in mud and misery –
with no man’s land in-between.

No man’s land – where green fields used to flourish.
No man’s land – charcoal trees, broken fences.
No man’s land – crimson red over white snow.
No man’s land – such unspeakable carnage.
No man’s land.

The Angel of Death – The Angel of Death, a frequent visitor here.
The Angel of Death – heralded with groans and screams of agony.

My enemy; afraid and bewildered, just like me.

A raw recruit was he – (my enemy)
fresh off the farm
from southern Bavaria. – (my enemy)
His story begins and ends here, in Passendale.

We gaze at each other through the hellish haze;
too numb to feel
too remote to hate
We stare at each other – total strangers –
and breathe warm air on our trigger-fingers.

text – Larry Smeets (adapted)




Regular Hard Copy Print or Digital Format (PDF) learn more

SATB with piano and optional cello or violin  – CP 1626

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SATB with piano and optional cello or violin  – PDF – CP 1626

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concerned about the minimum order of 12 copies? no worries – please click here
listen to the entire cantata here (Crimson Stain)

Cypress makes rehearsal tracks for choirs –  here is a demo

Rehearsal Tracks  –  Passendale

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