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CHAMBER: Silver Dagger | STACY GARROP • COMPOSER

Silver Dagger



VIDEO
Lincoln Trio

DURATION
4’45”

YEAR COMPOSED
2009

AVAILABLE EDITIONS
• piccolo/fute, cello, piano
• clarinet, cello, piano
• violin, cello, piano
• soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, piano (coming soon)


ORDERING SCORES

Theodore Presser Company
Click to view product page

PROGRAM NOTES
In 1994, I heard for the first time an Appalachian folk song called Silver Dagger at a folk festival. The simplicity of the melody joined with a cautionary love tale enthralled me, and I spent the next several years researching the song. What emerged from my research were dozens of variants of the song, both in terms of text as well as melody and title. The variants that I discovered could be grouped more or less under three different titles: Silver Dagger, Drowsy Sleeper, and Katie Dear. All of these versions revolve around the same Romeo and Juliet premise: a boy asks a girl for her parents’ consent to marry.  The story has various endings: the parents won’t give approval, so the girl and boy each end their lives with a silver dagger; the girl turns the boy down and sends him away to find another love; the girl forsakes her parents and runs away with the boy; and so on. In my trio, I incorporate two complete versions of the folk song, one of Katie Dear and one of Silver Dagger, as well as motives from a variant of Drowsy Sleeper.
-S.G.