The Pennycandystore Beyond The El

(1977)

"The Pennycandystore Beyond The El" is the second movement and first solo song in Bernstein's Songfest. The song is written for baritone and orchestra, but a piano reduction is available.

The original poem is a concrete poem, and the lines fan outward like falling leaves.

The Pennycandystore Beyond The El
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti


The pennycandystore beyond the El
is where i first
fell in love
with unreality
Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among
the licorice sticks
and tootsie rolls
and Oh Boy Gum


Outside the leaves were falling as they died


A wind had blown away the sun


A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room


Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!


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