S H E L T E R   S O N G

For TTBB Men's Chorus
Shelter Song
Shelter Song

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Shelter Song
Shelter Song

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Commissioned by the Empire City Men's Chorus as a part of their Composer-in-Residence program. Words by Sam Jack.


A worksong-like piece focused on our tendency as humans to build shelter and make homes.



I built a house of wood,
of wood I split by axe
and seasoned slow, to set it
in its fixed death, day by day.


I built a house of brick,
of brick I forged in kilns,
and left to dry in rows
underneath the searing sun.


I delved into the ground
and found a hidden spring;
wherever I laid my head,
I could hear its round bells ring.


Ring higher than ears can hear.
Ring broader than arms can span.
Ring beneath our notice and
according to higher plans.


I built a house of stones,
of stones the water blessed.
Dear friend, unclasp your burden
and from all labors, rest.