Composed 2011 for SATB choir with piano accompaniment
La Bestia Más Preciosa was premiered on May 10, 2011 by the Fillmore Central High School Concert Choir.
After a couple successful years of the Symphonic Composition Project, I decided to try the project with my choir. This presented more challenges, as I expected the students not only to write melodies, but also text. Also, the students did not have equal means to test their melodies – not all students had an instrument that they could use to hear their melodies as they were writing them, so some melodies were…interesting.
A strange theme appeared in the students texts: cats. I don’t know if it was a conspiracy planned by the kids or just dumb luck, but a large number of their writings talked about cats, so I ran with that theme for the song. A well-timed staff work day gave me a large chunk of time to complete the lyrics and start on the music, which came quickly thereafter.
The song tells the story of a young girl and her beloved cat, Sprinkles. The girl, as do many young girls, thinks of Sprinkles as a cuddly doll that happens to meow and have fur. Sprinkles views himself as the ferocious protector of his kingdom, and the girl as his princess to guard.
This is my kitty k-kitty kitty cat
He is so precious, he makes me happy, his name is “Sprinkles!”
I am Señor Ferocious!
I am the master of this house.
I am the beast that guards this castle
I protect the maiden princess from dangers and evils that lurk in darkness
They are no match for my fangs and claws and strength!
Isn’t he precious? He pounces ’round and catches mice
He keeps me warm, sleeping on my feet at night
I want to love him and squeeze him and dress him in pretty, pretty gowns!
Never shall I wear this silly gown!
I am king, and a king wears only crowns!
Come now, Sprinkles, it’s so pretty,
Won’t you just relax and let me pull this sleeve and…
I have told you I am King and I shall wear no silly gown!
My claws protect this house,
But they also guard my dignity!
I am master of this house and I…
Sprinkles! You’ve broken my heart!
I loved you and fed you and cared for you,
But you betrayed me with your claws.
I don’t know if I can forgive you but I do know one thing…
You are my kitty k-kit-ty kitty cat
You are so precious, you make me happy you mean the world to me!
Oh, dear Maiden,
I’ll protect you from rodents and birds and shiny, sparkly dangly things.
I will keep warm your toes through the night.
Just remember that I shall wear no silly, frilly…
I love you!
I hate you.
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