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New Jersey Gay Men's Chorus - click to enlarge

Colla Voce at the OUTGames in Montreal

How I Found Sam

TTBB chorus and piano
7:47 minutes

Commissioned by
Colla Voce
Steve Ng, Director
San Francisco

World Premiere Performances
June 11, 2006 Colla Voce, Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, Fairfield, California
July 9, 2006, Colla Voce, St. John the Evangelist Church, San Francisco, California
August 1, 2006, Colla Voce, Centre Pierre-Péladeau, Montreal, Canada (The Outgames)

Lyrics by James Skofield

When I was just a little boy
and making too much noise,
my Mama said, "Now, run along,
play outside with the boys."

And so I went, and threw the ball
and wrestled and had fun.
We knew ourselves for what we were:
just boys; and I was one.

When I was a bigger boy,
my Daddy said to me,
"It's time for you to leave off playing
dolls and having tea!"

And so I left off making clothes
for little sister's doll.
My Daddy said dolls weren't for boys;
and that was all.

When I became a teenager,
my best friend said to me,
"Why don't you date a cheerleader
and have some fun, like me?"

And so I dated Susie...
but I did not know why
it was her hunky brother, Sam,
who made me want to die!

Oh, Sue was sweet and Sue was fine,
as nice as nice could be;
But Sam had shoulders like an ox
and eyes that called to me.

My Mama said, "it's just a phase!"
My Daddy's face grew red;
but Sam was all I dreamed about,
alone, at night, in bed.

You see, I knew I wanted love...
but not with Kate or Mary.
I didn't want that... softness...
but something big and hairy.

I tried to change, I swear it!
I went out for the team;
but in the locker-room, one night,
I showered in the steam...

And there, across from me, was Sam
All big and dripping wet...
He stared at me; I stared right back...
and then, our two lips met...

My best friend called me, "Faggot!"
My coach, he called me, "Queer!"
I knew they didn't understand;
I tried hard not to care.

My best friend, he stopped speaking.
My coach ran off to sea.
And Susie's hunky brother...?
He up and married... me!

And now that I'm a grown man,
I still like making noise;
I still enjoy the outdoors,
and playing with the boys.

Big Sam and I play rugby;
we wrestle and have fun.
We know ourselves for what we are:
just men; and we are one.

And what became of Susie...
that sweet, cheerleading girl?
Sometimes she comes to visit
and brings her lover... Shirl!

James Skofield is a writer, translator and librettist. He has worked with a number of composers including Robert Moran, Jon Bailey and Scott Wilkinson. His work has been performed by the Houston Grand Opera, The Seattle Men's Chorus, the Heartland Men's Chorus and the Los Angeles and Boston Gay Men's Choruses. He resides in Walpole, New Hampshire.

download pdf of Lyrics by James Skofield
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Jeffrey James Arts Consulting Press Release