Wood Song, by Sara Teasdale

Wood Song, by Sara Teasdale

From My Woods, by Samuel A. Harper (1923) –

Click here for biographical information about Samuel Alain Harper.

Recording of a Wood Thrush:

According to All About Birds, “The Wood Thrush’s easily recognized, flute-like ee-oh-lay is actually only the middle phrase of a three-part song.” For more information, see here.

Photograph from My Woods, by Samuel A. Harper (1923).

Chord chart:


C 
 
C 
I heard a  
Bb 
wood thrush in the  
Dm 
dusk 
 
 
F 
C 
Twirl 
 
 
Bb 
three notes and make a  
Dm 
star —  
F 
C 
My heart that  
Bb 
walked with bitterness  
Dm 
 
Came back from  
Ab 
very 
 
far.
 
C 
I heard a  
Bb 
wood thrush in the  
Dm 
dusk… 
 
 
F 
 
C 
 
Eb 
 
Bb 
 
F 
C 
 
Eb 
 
Bb 
 
F 
 
C 
Three shining  
Bb 
notes were all he  
Dm 
had, 
 
 
F 
C 
And yet they  
Bb 
made a starry  
Dm 
call —  
F 
C 
I caught life  
Bb 
back against my breast  
Dm 
 
And kissed it,  
Ab 
scars and all.
 
C 
I heard a wood  
Bb 
thrush in the  
Dm 
dusk… 
 
 
F 
 
C 

Note: The Bb is barred on the sixth fret, the Ab on the fourth fret, the Eb on the sixth fret.

Publishing history:

  • Poetry, A Magazine Of Verse, p. 126, June 1917
  • Love Songs, by Sara Teasdale, p. 52, 1917
  • My Woods, by Samuel A. Harper, p. 53, 1923
  • The Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee), p. 6, March 12, 1928 – link

Music inspired by Wood Song:

Read about the composition here.

© 2021, Mark R. Adams. All rights reserved.