Some Keep the Sabbath

Composer Jennifer Lucy Cook, winner of the North Dakota State University Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition for 2022, demonstrates an uncanny ability to seamlessly blend words into music. The text is by Emily Dickinson, a poet whose profound and independent thinking has been capturing hearts for well over a century. Cook effortlessly maintains a hymn-like style infused with fluidity, freedom, just the right touch of dissonance, and a final cadence that brings a smile to the soul.


SATB a cappella



4 minutes



for Steve Durtschi

Text by Emily Dickinson

Music by Jennifer Lucy Cook


Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –
Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.