Cliff Notes – Carol Barnett

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: SATB Score

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Composer: Carol Barnett

Text by: Marg Walker

Instrumentation: SATB and piano

Duration: Approx. 3'30"

Date Written:  2021

Composer’s note: Poet Marg Walker wrote “Cliff Notes from Your Mother as You Leave Home” five years ago in empathy with friends and their children who were going off to college. Loosely modeled on Polonius’s advice to his son Laertes (“to thine own self be true”) in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Mother’s tone is varied motivational, practical, gently exasperated, regretfully knowing that it’s time for them to ignore her expectations and form their own.


If it starts to spark, remove it.
The bigger mistake is not asking.
Don’t wait too long to get started.
Drop every expectation that does not belong to you
Always poke it first to see if it moves.
Sometimes the only method is inexperience.
Above all, be kind. No – be true to yourself. Also, kind.
If you’re going to nap on the sofa, for heaven’s sake tuck your
glasses underneath it so you won’t step on them when you get up.
Figure out for what you would walk through fire.
Walk through fire.

Marg Walker
from Sitting in Lawn Chairs After a Complicated Day
Copyright © 2020 Margaret Walker.
Used with permission.

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