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Animal Crackers Vol. I

I have always dreamed of writing a substantial collection of choral works that might enter the standard repertoire, something with the depth and passion of Monteverdi’s Fourth Book of Madrigals and the charm and timelessness of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes.

I wrote this instead.

These are the first two ‘volumes’ of Animal Crackers, and if everything goes as planned I’ll write several more. (Ogden Nash wrote scores of these ridiculous animal poems, all of them crying out for musical settings.) Feel free to mix and match pieces between volumes to create your very own personalized zoo, and remember: the performance will be infinitely more effective if you play these as seriously and soberly as possible.

Available from all good retailers including Musicroom, Hal Leonard and J.W. Pepper.

Volume I

The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
If you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don’t anther.

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.

The firefly’s flame Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
Person’s posterior.

Volume II

The song of canaries
Never varies.
And when they’re molting
They’re pretty revolting.

I don’t mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

O Kangaroo, O Kangaroo,
Be grateful that you’re in the zoo.
And not transmuted by a boomerang
Into zestful tangy Kangaroo meringue.
Ogden Nash, 1902-1971

Available from all good retailers including MusicroomHal Leonard and J.W. Pepper.

  • jasonbres

    This is the most hilarious choral work I have ever heard. I sang the first volume, and was trying very hard to keep a straight face while singing it.

  • f. l. arnold

    …spent a lot of time here, listening to erics music with pure joy. will this be on cd soon?

  • Tyler Riggs

    OMG Eric!! This work is absolutely hysterical!! I laughed so hard when listening to these songs! It is actually the first time I have heard the entire set together. I SO wish I could have sang this with my choir! And I have the same question as f. l. arnold: will it be on CD soon? Maybe your next CD?

  • Clarisse

    I am running the Chamber Choir at my school this year and one of my friends suggested this song. I went home and listened to it, and I couldn’t stop listening too it! It is just so funny! The next day I was the most annoying singer on the planet because I couldn’t get the never varying song of the canary out of my head. I randomly would burst into song in the hallway, “never varies, never varies…” We hope to do both volumes at our next concert. Thank you for the great music!

  • Duncan France

    We [Hibiscus Coast Singers]are singing the SATB version of Animal Crackers [concert June 16/17]. Can you advise a source of MP3s for the individual parts?

    Thanks in advance
    Duncan France

  • Jack

    So, is this piece supposed to be like a child playing with his animal crackers? That’s what I think of when I hear it.

  • cindy neels

    The Master Singers of Lexington MA will sing this on Sunday March 3 in our POPS! Stuff and Nonsense concert program.

    I have to congratulate your singers on keeping a straight face!

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful piece of music! Wonderful sound!

    I love it!

  • Layla

    I love how The Eel contains the harmonic ew’s and the final yuck!