Page 1


A PRAYER

Lord? Please Don't Let Me Die In a Funny Way

For Soprano and Piano Based on Text by PAUL SIMMS 2012 First Publication: Feb. 2012

❀ First Edition ❀

Duration: ca. 11 minutes

Wang Jie Music, ASCAP PO Box 299 New York, NY 10025 Date of printing: Jan. 23 2012 Contact Wang Jie: 212.380.1483 www.wangjiemusic.com


– TEXT – With kind permission from Paul, I have shortened his piece for purpose of this song. The entirety of his work A Prayer can be read in the Appendix of this edition. – Wang Jie

A PRAYER by#Paul#Simms# Lord? Please don’t let me die in a funny way. Like being beaten to death with a shoe. Especially not my own shoe. And, if it absolutely has to be my own shoe, I’d rather not be wearing it at the time. Or like choking on my own fist during a bar bet. Perhaps I should clarify a little. I do know that I’m going to die someday. (Maybe soon! That’s Your call.) And I know there’s nothing funny about death—at least, that’s the current thinking from this side. I’m just asking to not die in a way that leads people who don’t know me to e- mail one another news items about my death. For instance: Please don’t let me get so fat that paramedics have to come to my house and cut out a wall to remove me but then bang my head against a load-bearing pillar in the process, thus killing me. Please don’t let me die on or near or—perhaps worst of all—because of a toilet. Please don’t let my death in any way involve one of those giant inflatable rats that union protesters put up outside non-union job sites. Or a blimp of any kind. Until I see some evidence to the contrary, I’m going to have to say that my dying because of just about anything inflatable would be something I’d rather avoid. A hot-air balloon, I guess, would be O.K., but only if I’m actually in the balloon at the time. At least that would be kind of rugged and outdoorsy. What I’m trying to say is: if someone else’s hot-air balloon falls out of the sky and smothers me while I’m lying in a hammock reading Hot Air Balloon Enthusiast magazine, I’m going to be a little pissed. I apologize for that language, Lord, but I’m just trying to be honest with You. A vehicular accident? Fine. Bring it on. I understand that, statistically, there’s a pretty good chance of that happening anyway. Just please don’t let it involve a moped. Or a go-kart. Also, I’d prefer not to die in a head-on collision with someone who—against all odds—has the same name as me. Or anyone named, for instance, Roger Crash. Or Ed Oncollision. Or Jennifer Safedriver. I could go on, but I think You get the point. I’m sure You get this one a lot, but: please don’t let me die during sex. Unless the technical cause of my death is a heart attack or a stroke. If I have to die during sex, please don’t make the cause of death any of the following: extreme dehydration, a previously undiagnosed allergy to fruit-scented or


Wang Jie | A PRAYER | Text by Paul Simms 2 “massage” oils, dermatological complications arising from severe rug burn, or anything involving the use or misuse of any object best described as “foreign.” Please don’t let me die in a way that allows the Post to run a small item about my death on page 12 or 13 or so under the headline “dude, where’s my corpse?” Or “dumb and deader.” Or “dead and deader.” Or “the house of sand and dead.” Or “j. lo’s latest nuptials postponed due to lethal tent-raising mishap.” Please don’t let me cut my own head off while trying to revive the lost Scouting pastime of mumblety-peg. I would have to consider any fatality involving a prolapsed anus, of course, absolutely beyond the pale. I mean, come on, Lord. Even if I don’t die in a funny way, I’d still rather not die on the same day as some other person who does die in a funny way. Because I don’t want any version of the following conversation to occur between my friends: Friend One: Did you read his obituary? Friend Two: Yeah. Nice piece. Friend One: Very nice. Friend Two: He would have liked it. Friend One: That he would have. That he would have. (Awkward silence.) Friend Two: Did you see that other obituary about the banana wholesaler who Friend One: Yeah. You couldn’t make that up!

actually slipped on the—

Well, that’s about it, Lord. Actually—as long as I’ve got You. If some kind of rare organism eats away at my body from the inside, please let it be microscopic. Or just slightly larger than microscopic. Let’s put it this way: if it’s big enough to have a face, that would be too big. Thank You for Your time, Lord.

– PROGRAM NOTE – What you are about to hear is inspired by one of my favorite writers, Paul Simms. He is brilliantly funny and makes me smile every time I come across his work. This is my best effort to adapt what he does into musical terms. I hope you like it. And if it doesn't make you laugh, the fault is mine and not his. Paul, if you're out there, thank you very much! – Wang Jie


A PRAYER Lord? Please don't let me die in a funny way.

Paul Simms Soprano

& 38

{

& 38

Piano

? 38

7

S.

{

&

#œ ™

Moderato

“” . #œ œ œ

? ∑

17

S.

Pno.

U

Lord?

Ϫ

f

∑ *

Ϫ

‰ ‰#œ œœj #ÆœœJ œ > ∑

f

œ

œ œ bœ J

Please

j #œœ œ œœ œœœœ #ÆœJ ‰ > ‰ œœ

œœ ™™ œœ ™™

do

œœ ™™

œœ #œ J œ

& œœ ™™ œ #œ J

œœ ‰ b œ œj œ ‰

œ#œ nœ

{

? #œ ™ œ™

in

a

œœ ‰ œ ‰ #œ.

fun - ny

œœœ ™™™ œ™

let

œœ bnœœ œœ ™™ J ∑

œ

b œ œ œ ‰ ‰ b œj nœ. œ. # œ n œ. .

j œ ‰ #œj

subito f

fij

œ

œ

Copyright 2012 © Wang Jie Music All Rights Reserved

bœ bœ

6

Œ

œœ ™™ œ™ j œœ bb œœ

œœ‰œ #œj œ # œœ J œœ ™™

> œ œ -œ # œœ bœ œ œ >

œ

me

Più mosso

way

j œœœ œœœ ™™™ œ œ™

subito leggiero

‰ j‰ œ#œ nœ œ

‰ œ

not

œœ œœ

Ϫ

p dolce

œ ‰ b œ œj

die

≈ r œr ≈b œ b œ ≈œ œ ≈b œJ œ œ œ

Ϫ

j œ

& œ

poco accel...

œ œ. fij #œœ. j œ. œfij bb œ # œ œ J ‰#œ J œfiœnœfij bnœœ ‰ ÆœJ #œ #œ J œœ ÆœJ b > p . œfij j - f sub p n œ 6 œ # œ œ. nœfi b œ œœ Œ J J ‰ ÆœJ b œ bœ œ b œ. > ° “‘

& ∑

Pno.

Wang Jie fp

U ∑

>> œœ œœ œœ œ œ bœ œ œ œ >> 7

&

bœ œ œ


2

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

24 S.

& ‰

{

S.

Pno.

&

{

Pno.

Uœ ™

œ œb œ # œ 7

86 b œ

shoe.

Es

be - ing

‰ ##‚‚ ™™ #‚ ™

sub p

f

> œ #œ œ

cresc.

-

86 ‰#nœœœ œœœ ‰bb œœœ . . .

U œœ ™™

86 œ ™

p leggiero

pe - cial - ly

not

œ my

to

œ own

# œœ. œœ. # . œ. œ. n œ œ œ ‰ b œœ bb œœnœœ ‰ ‰ J

similar

shoe.

j ‰ ‰#œ. ‰ ‰nœj nœ ™

, p ‰ œ™

And

p

poco a poco cresc.

œ

b bb œœœ & ‰ ‰ J

œœœ J ‰

{

a

œœ nœœ n œœœ œœœ œ nœ

œ nœœ œœ œœ œœ œ œ œ

œ œ bœ j œ j ‰ b œJ ‰ œJ ‰ œj j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ b œj ‰ ‰ œ fij nœ. bœ bœ œ nœfi œ #œ œ œ #œ bœ nœ

?

&

with

‰ ‰#œj ‰ j ‰ . œ . œœ J

j nœ

#œ ™

œ

death

. œœœ nb œœœ œœœ‰ œœœ . . . J

œ. ‰ ‰ J

œ bœ nœ

j b œ >œ œ J œ

beat en

Ghost notes. Keep middle pedel down unless specified

‰ ? œj nœ

Vivace

p

#n#œœœ nœœœ ‰ œ œ œ nœœ b œœ ‰ j ‰ #œj ‰nnœœœ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ j & #n#œœœ œœ nœœ nœœ œ œ # œœœ # œœ J nb œœœ nœœ n bb œœœ œœœ

34

S.

A

Like

œ & b œb œ

29

j œ

&

Pno.

f

œ if

? ‰

it

ab

#œ -

b œœœ ≈R

‰ ‰ bœ ‰ bœ œ

so

œ #n œœ

Ϊ

nœ -

n œœœ

lute

-

n bnœœœ nn œœœ ‰

œ

##n œœœ

œ

œ

has

to

be

my

ly

˙ own

bbnœœœ œœœ œ ‰ ‰ bb œœœ œœœ ‰ ‰ nœœ nœœœ nœœœ nœœ œœœ nœ œ ‰ ‰ œj œ™ ˙™


3

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

38

S.

Pno.

{

b˙ ™ & bb ˙˙ ™™ ##‚‚ Œ Œ #‚ ? b˙™ b ˙™

Pno.

œ œ nœ œ #œ œ œ œ ‰ œ œ ‰ ‰ J œ

I'd ra - ther not be wear - ing it at

˙™ ˙™

˙™ ˙™

cluster

p

the time.

U ˙™ ˙™

B Andante 43 p dolce 3 j bœ b œ 3 3 œ bœ bœ œ œ ™ œ œ bœ ≈ & 8 ‰ ‰ bœ J bœ 4 Per - haps I should cla - ri - fy a lit - tle r #œ j #œ n œj nb œœ n œ nb œœ # œ n œ n œ #œ œ & 38 ‰ ‰ b œJ J b œ 43 œ b œ b œ œ œ ‰ ≈ R

{

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ? 38 ‰ ‰ J J 34 p legato

& œ

{

die

œ bœ ™ J

some - day.

n œ # œj n œ ™ b œ nœ b œ ™ & J #œ b œ œ ™ ? J

U ∑

mp

shoe

48

S.

U ‰

‰ ≈

œfij

U ∑

j ‰ œ

j U “” œ. U œ œfij b œ j œ œfij œ œfij œ œÆ b œ œœfibb œ J œ J J ÆJ œ . u b œ. U jfi b œ j œ œ J œfi b œ

œ œ

n œj r n œ nœ ≈ œ bœ nœ J bœ ‰ I

œfij

do know

œ #œ œ ≈R

38 38 38

œ bœ œ œ œ œ that I'm go-ing to

œ nb œœ # œ n œ œ #œ œ nœ b œ #œ œ œ# œ œ œ œ œ

Subito Più mosso, ad lib

n˙ # œ n œ #œ mf

May - be

œ™ œ œ™

œ J

3

#œ ™ #œ p

soon!

> ## œœ nnœœ ‰ ##‚‚ #nœœœ #‚ ‰ #œœ œ # œœ f

∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏

Pno.

&

bœ ˙

∏∏∏

S.

Ad lib

f

That's Your

œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ∑

‰ ##‚‚ #‚ ff


4

A tempo

Pno.

&

{

call.

Pno.

fun ny

œ.

Ad lib

&

{

U œ n˙

At

& œj . bœ .j3 ? œ bœ œ ˙™ ˙™

œ œ œ œ #œ œ

least,

that's the cur - rent think - ing

U

˙™ ˙™

A tempo

a - bout

death

œ œ #œ œœ Œ #œ . b œ b œ œ b œ b œ. ˙™ ˙™

U ∑

3

œj

Œ

#œj #œ #˙

Œ

˙ bb ˙˙

in

. . . n œ # œ #œ

. œ

. . . . nœ b œ œ #œ

{

. & 24 . . #œ. nœ œ #œ p

24

poco accel.

die

ask - ing

Œ

from this side

nœ b œ œ #œ

just

3

œ

I'm

nœ. b œ J

œ œ #œj #œ

C p chest voice until the word "death" & 24 œ # œ #œ nœ n œ # œ #œ

59 S.

And I know there is no - thing

œ

j œ bœ œ ‰ Œ

gliss.

Pno.

œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ ™ œ ™ œ & Œ ‰ J b œ œ b œ œ b œ b œ ™ œ. œ ™ œ ? Œ ‰ b œJ

55 S.

bœ œ ™ œ

j ‰ bœ bœ œ bœ œ bœ bœ ™ Œ

51 S.

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

to

not

a

way that leads

œ b œ nœ #œ

peo - ple

who don't

. . . . œ b œ nœ #œ

? 24 œ b œ œ #œ nœ b œ nœ #œ nœ nœ œ #œ nœ nœ nœ #œ ≈ œ # œ # œ n œ œ n œ # œ # œ n œ œ n œ b œ nœ #œ œ œ b œ nœ #œ “‘

24 24


22

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

j œ ‰ #œ œ œ œ ‰ &

229 S.

{

want

an - y

ver-sion

& #œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ

Pno.

? Œ

Œ

of

Œ

24 Œ

{

? ≈

œ #œ ' '

43 #œ ' 34 nœÆ

Pno.

œ ' œÆ

3

Œ

sf

Œ

>œ #>œ

12

r ‰

4 œ> #œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ nœ #œ œ ≈ 4

f

Œ

to oc- cur

bet- ween my friends

4 & 4 ‰ œJ nœ œ ≈ œ œ œ œJ ‰ ? 44

œ ' œÆ

11

44

Œ

œ œ œ œ œ ‰ J & 44 ‰ J œ ≈ œ

{

3

con - ver - sa - tion

44

233 S.

“” #n œœ

fol - low - ing

& & Œ

Pno.

the

œœ 24 #œœ œœ Œ

232 S.

œ œ œ œ 3 43 #œ œ œ

24 œ œ Œ

44

∑ #>œ œ b œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 11

12

f

j bœ

3

#œ '

bœ '

nœ '

≈Ó œ. œ. œ. n œ.

44 Π44


{

R 4 &4 Ó ÷

Pno.

"Did you read his obituary?"

p

Ó

pp sempre

¿ J

{

similar

&

{

& ?

As if interrupting

(Awkward silence.)

# œfij

# œ.

(Awkward silence.)

"Did you see that other obituary about the banana wholesaler who actually slipped on the---"

#œ.

œfij

œ.

œ.

œfij

œ.

œ.

œfij

"Yeah. You couldn't make that up!"

#œfij

# œ.

#œ.

cresc.

#œ.

œfij

œ.

œfij

œ.

œ. œ.

œ.

# œfij

# œ.

#œ.

œfij

œfij

œ.

œfij

œ.

œ. œ.

œfij

œ.

nœ.

#œfij

œ. #œ.

Œ

. œfij œ

bœ ™

U ˙

¿ # œ.

œ.

œ.

œ.

œfij

œ.

œ.

œfij

œ.

œ.

p leggiero

# œfij

j ‰ ¿

f

Subito più mosso

œ asœœneededœœ œRepeat & J ‰ J ‰ J ‰

242

"He would have liked it."

speaking

&

?

Pno.

"That he would have. That he would have."

n œœ. œœ. œœ. œœ. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ & 44 J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰ J ‰

÷

S.

"Very nice."

"Yeah. Nice piece."

239

Pno.

j ‰¿

Œ

44

?4 4

S.

Speaking to the pianist p

Strictlyq = 60

235

S.

23

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

p

Well,

œ. Œ

That's

Œ

p

Œ

j nœfi

b œ.

b œ. ™ b œ. ™ p

b œ.

Œ

Œ

#œ œ. J

œ.

#œ. J # œ. J

œ.

a - bout

œ. œ.

45

it,

œ.

45 45


24

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

Pno.

& 45 ‰ #œ ™

{

Pno.

& 45 ‰ #œ ™ ? 45 ‰ #œ ™

S 6 & 8 Ϊ

{

Pno.

Ac - tual - ly,

˙

˙

46 ‰

n>œ œ #œ œ sub f

&

{

Ϫ

U ‰ Œ j œ œ œ œ œ œ

as long as I've got You:

Quosi andante mf

rare

or - gan -ism

in -

side

‰œ

œ #œj

please let

j b œ #œ

eats

œ. ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ j ‰ j ‰ J #œ. œ.

œ œ™ J

Œ

œœ. ‰ œœ. b œœ. œœ. œ b œ b œ nœ J J

p leggiero

œ

Œ

œ

j j nœ œ œ

bœ œ œ #œ

some kind of

? 86

46

˙™ ˙™

it

U œ

f

p

6 4 nœ œ ˙™ >œ œ ˙ ™

& 86 ‰ n œœ œœ ‰ bb œœœ œœœ b œœœ œœ.œ ‰ # œ. œ. . . .

251

S.

iss .

Lord

247 S.

œ

gl

S.

œ ™ b œ #œ ‰

f

a - way

. #n# œœœ ‰

bb œœ œ

œœ. œ

bo - dy

œœœ œœ

from

j ‰ b œJ ‰ œ fij nœ.

j ‰ ‰ #œ. ‰ ‰ nœj

œœœ œ

86

#œ œ ‰ #n œœ nœœ ‰ #œ œœ œœ #n œœ œ nœ

similar

be mic -ro -sco - pic.

Œ

86

œ œ œ ‰ bœ

my

œ œ œ œ Œ ™ #Uœ œ nœ

œœœ n j j n œ œ j œ œ & nœœœ nœœœ b œœ ‰# œœ ‰ ##œœœ ‰n œJ ‰ œj ‰ nœœœ ‰ J œ nb œœ ? œ ‰ j j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ j ‰ b œj ‰ J œ #œ œ œ œ nœ

U œ œ œ œ œ bnœœœ Œ œ

j œ

86

If

∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏∏

245

‰ œj ‰ #œJ nœJ ‰ ‰

Or

just

slight -ly

bbb œœœ œœœ œœ Œ ™ U‰ œœ œœ ‰ ‰ J œ œ U Œ ™ ‰ b œ fijœ ‰ œ

œœœ b œœœ J‰ ≈R

‰ ‰ bœ ‰ bœ œ


25

Wang Jie | Paul Simms - A PRAYER

256

Pno.

& ‰ œ

{

lar

& n œœ #œ

? Ϊ

ger

nbnœœœ n œœ nœ

bœœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ ‰ nb œœœ nœœœœ œœœœ œœœœ œœœœ ‰ ‰ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œ n œ nn œœ œ b œ œ #œ œ bœ bœ b œ ‰ J ‰ ‰ b œj ‰ ‰ j J œ™ #œ

tohave

# ‚‚ ‚ #b ‚‚‚‚

& œ

a face,

j œ nb#n œœœœœ n œœ ‰ ‰ ‰ ##œœœ œJ

that would be too big.

˙˙˙˙ ˙˙˙ ˙˙ ˙˙˙

Π38

j œ œ

Thank you for

? Œ

œ #œ b œ j 3 œ nœ 8

ppp

? b˙™ b ˙™

{

Let's put it this way:

∏∏∏∏∏

{

n œ. #œ J

Your time,

. jœ fi œ œ nœfij bnœ J œ

œfij

j .œ nœfi b œ J

‰ œ bœ œ bœ œ

mic - ro - sco - pic.

r œJ ‰ ≈ œœ œ

if it's big e - nough

>œ. . fij #œ œ J # œ ‰ J &

Pno.

j œ œ œ œ œ ‰ J

Molto meno mosso

264

S.

than

‰ ‰ œj

˙™ & ˙˙ ™™

Pno.

##n œœœ

T œ & ‰ œ œ b œ #œ ™

260

S.

n œœœ

-

j nœ

∏∏∏

S.

. . . nœ. #œ ≈ œ ≈ #œ

“” . #œ œ nœ p

38 bœ b œ œ. “‘

p

Tempo primo

œ n œ œ #œ 6 # œ #œ

U ∑

U ∑

Lord.

# œ. œ b œœ. ‰

p

≈ #œœ ≈ j ‰ ‰ . b œœ œ . -œ

U j ‰ ‰ œ œ.


Appendix

JULY 5,  2004

L

ord? Please don’t  let  me  die  in  a  funny  way. Like  being  beaten  to  death  with  a  shoe. Especially  not  my  own  shoe.  And,  if  it  absolutely  has to  be  my  own  shoe,  I’d  rather  not  be  wearing  it  at  the time. Or  like  choking  on  my  own  fist  during  a  bar  bet. Perhaps  I  should  clarify  a  little.  I  do  know  that I’m  going  to  die  someday.  (Maybe  soon!  That’s  Your call.)  And  I  know  there’s  nothing  funny  about  death —at  least,  that’s  the  current  thinking  from  this  side. I’m  just  asking  to  not  die  in  a  way  that  leads  people who  don’t  know  me  to  e-­mail  one  another  news  items about  my  death.  For  instance: Please  don’t  let  me  get  so  fat  that  paramedics have  to  come  to  my  house  and  cut  out  a  wall  to remove  me  but  then  bang  my  head  against  a  load-­ bearing  pillar  in  the  process,  thus  killing  me. Please  don’t  let  me  die  on  or  near  or—perhaps  worst  of  all—because  of  a  toilet.  (This includes  a  urinal  or  a  baseball-­stadium-­style  urine  trough,  in  addition  to  a  standard  commode.) Please  don’t  let  my  death  in  any  way  involve  one  of  those  giant  inflatable  rats  that  union protesters  put  up  outside  non-­union  job  sites.  Or  a  blimp  of  any  kind.  Until  I  see  some  evidence to  the  contrary,  I’m  going  to  have  to  say  that  my  dying  because  of  just  about  anything  inflatable would  be  something  I’d  rather  avoid.  A  hot-­air  balloon,  I  guess,  would  be  O.K.,  but  only  if  I’m actually  in  the  balloon  at  the  time.  At  least  that  would  be  kind  of  rugged  and  outdoorsy.  What I’m  trying  to  say  is:  if  someone  else’s  hot-­air  balloon  falls  out  of  the  sky  and  smothers  me  while I’m  lying  in  a  hammock  reading  Hot  Air  Balloon  Enthusiast  magazine,  I’m  going  to  be  a  little pissed.


I apologize  for  that  language,  Lord,  but  I’m  just  trying  to  be  honest  with  You. A  vehicular  accident?  Fine.  Bring  it  on.  I  understand  that,  statistically,  there’s  a  pretty  good chance  of  that  happening  anyway.  Just  please  don’t  let  it  involve  a  moped.  Or  a  go-­kart. Also,  I’d  prefer  not  to  die  in  a  head-­on  collision  with  someone  who—against  all  odds—has the  same  name  as  me.  Or  anyone  named,  for  instance,  Roger  Crash.  Or  Ed  Oncollision.  Or Jennifer  Safedriver.  I  could  go  on,  but  I  think  You  get  the  point. I’m  sure  You  get  this  one  a  lot,  but:  please  don’t  let  me  die  during  sex.  Unless  the  technical cause  of  my  death  is  a  heart  attack  or  a  stroke.  If  I  have  to  die  during  sex,  please  don’t  make  the cause  of  death  any  of  the  following:  extreme  dehydration,  a  previously  undiagnosed  allergy  to fruit-­scented  or  “massage”  oils,  dermatological  complications  arising  from  severe  rug  burn,  or anything  involving  the  use  or  misuse  of  any  object  best  described  as  “foreign.” Please  don’t  let  me  die  in  a  way  that  allows  the  Post  to  run  a  small  item  about  my  death  on page  12  or  13  or  so  under  the  headline  “dude,  where’s  my  corpse?”  Or  “dumb  and  deader.”  Or  “dead  and deader.”  Or  “ the  house  of  sand  and  dead.”  Or  “ j.  lo’s  latest  nuptials  postponed  due  to  lethal  tent-­raising  mishap.”

Please don’t  let  me  cut  my  own  head  off  while  trying  to  revive  the  lost  Scouting  pastime  of mumblety-­peg. I  would  have  to  consider  any  fatality  involving  a  prolapsed  anus,  of  course,  absolutely beyond  the  pale.  I  mean,  come  on,  Lord. Also—and  I’m  not  trying  to  split  hairs  with  You,  Lord—when  I  ask  You  to  not  let  me  die  in a  funny  way,  I  also  mean  please  don’t  let  me  die  in  a  noteworthily  ironic  way.  Meaning: whether  my  death  is  “ha-­ha”  funny  or  the  other  kind  of  funny,  neither  of  those  is  what  I’m  in the  market  for.  For  instance,  please  don’t  let  me  go  on  a  Sleepwalkers  Anonymous  Outward Bound-­type  retreat  and  sleepwalk  into  a  canyon  or  gorge  in  the  middle  of  the  night. And,  if  You  deem  it  necessary  (or  just  amusing)  to  take  my  mind  before  You  take  my  body, let’s  try  to  keep  the  progressive  dementia  noble  and  epically  sad  rather  than  comical.  For example:  please  let  the  last  face  I  recognize  be  the  photograph  of  a  long-­lost  high-­school girlfriend  and  not  one  of  the  plucky  toddlers  from  the  animated  show  “Rugrats.”  In  my  final moments,  let  me  awaken—apparently  lucid—in  the  pre-­dawn  hours  calling  out  for  a  kiss  on  the forehead  from  a  dead  great-­aunt  rather  than  from  the  mustachioed  black  bartender  on  “The Love  Boat.” Or  from  the  actor  who  played  him,  for  that  matter. Even  if  I  don’t  die  in  a  funny  way,  I’d  still  rather  not  die  on  the  same  day  as  some  other person  who  does  die  in  a  funny  way.  Because  I  don’t  want  any  version  of  the  following conversation  to  occur  between  my  friends:   Friend  One:  Did  you  read  his  obituary? Friend  Two :  Yeah.  Nice  piece.


Friend One:  Very  nice. Friend  Two :  He  would  have  liked  it. Friend  One:  That  he  would  have.  That  he  would  have.  

(Awkward silence.) Friend  Two :  Did  you  see  that  other  obituary  about  the  banana  wholesaler  who  actually  slipped  on  the— Friend  One:  Yeah.  You  couldn’t  make  that  up!

Well,  that’s  about  it,  Lord. Actually—as  long  as  I’ve  got  You,  let  me  just  mention  a  few  final  ways  for  me  to  die  that may  or  may  not  seem  funny  to  You,  depending  on  Your  sense  of  humor. I  would  rather  be  burned  beyond  all  recognition  than  burned  almost  beyond  all  recognition, especially  if  the  pictures  are  going  to  end  up  on  the  Internet. If  some  kind  of  rare  organism  eats  away  at  my  body  from  the  inside,  please  let  it  be microscopic.  Or  just  slightly  larger  than  microscopic.  Let’s  put  it  this  way:  if  it’s  big  enough  to have  a  face,  that  would  be  too  big. Thank  You  for  Your  time,  Lord. (Also:  Ted  Lange.  That’s  the  name  of  the  actor  who  played  the  bartender  on  “The  Love Boat”  whose  name  I  couldn’t  remember  before.  I  Googled  him  for  You,  Lord.  Which  has  got  to count  for  something,  right?)  ♦ Subscribe  now  to  get  more  of  The  New  Yorker's  signature  mix  of  politics,  culture,  and  the  arts.


• A New Home

• A Longing for Spring • From the Other Sky • Faded Colors • The Animal Carnival • In Wind They Cleave • I Died for Beauty • Swamp’s Shore

7’ 12’ 17’ 10’ 15’ 15’ 11’ 7’

Sopr & Pno Sopr, Vln, Cl & Pno. 2 singers, 1 actor, keyboard soloist and Chamber Orchestra Piano Trio Soprano and String Quartet Soprano, Baritone, Piano, Percussion, Violin, Cello Baritone, Vibraphone and Piano Sopr, 2222,4231, timp, 3perc, pno, hp, sopr, str.

To Order Music for Purchase or Rent Orchestral Music: • Email your order to: wangjie@wangjiemusic.com or • Call in your order to: 212-380-1483

To Learn More about Wang Jie's Rental Library • Please visit: www.wangjieonline.com Wang Jie Music 209 West 109th St. #5E New York, NY 10025 www.wangjiemusic.com 212.380.1483

A Prayer | Printed in New York | 2012 | $ 17.95

A prayer 01 30 13 excerpt  
Advertisement