The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Children, Go Where I Send Thee

A vibrant call-and-response arrangement of this enduring classic

Words by African-American Spiritual

This inventive arrangement is presented as a dialogue between an adult soloist and children’s choir. A colorful accompaniment, a little thigh-slapping, and a brief foray into musical punsmanship make for a Christmas treat.

This song can easily be taught to a young choir in 1 or 2 rehearsals, with the more experienced singers taking the upper of the two parts. The adult soloist opens each new verse with a call-and-response dialogue with the children’s choir.

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Children Go Where I Send Thee

Children, go where I send thee!
How shall I send thee?

I’m gonna send thee one by one:
One for the little bitty baby
Wrapped in swaddling clothing
Lying in a manger
Born, born, oh born in Bethlehem.

I’m gonna send thee two by two:
Two for Joseph and Mary,

I’m gonna send thee three by three:
Three for the three old wise men,

I’m gonna send thee four by four:
Four for the gospel preachers,

I’m gonna send thee five by five:
Five for the ancient stories,

I’m gonna send thee six by six:
Six for the star of David,

I’m gonna send thee seven by seven:
Seven for the seven who went to heaven,

I’m gonna send thee eight by eight:
Eight for the eight come a-knockin’ at the gate,

I’m gonna send thee nine by nine:
Nine for the nine who saw the sign,

I’m gonna send thee ten by ten:
Ten for the ten who tried again.

African-American spiritual



Premiere: Children’s Choir of First Unitarian Church of Ithaca / Elizabeth Alexander (Ithaca, NY)
Children’s Choir and Congregation of First Presbyterian Church / Doug Dennewitz (London, OH)
Children’s Choir of Burlington First Church of The Nazarene / Chris VanBuskirk (Burlington, IA)
Children’s Choir of First Parish in Framingham / Patricia Ramey (Framingham, MA)
Children’s Choir of First Unitarian Church of Ithaca / Jennifer Haywood (Ithaca, NY)
Children’s Choir of Jefferson Unitarian Church of Golden, CO / Keith Arnold (Golden, CO)
Children’s Choir of Unitarian Fellowship of London, Ontario / Susan Jeffrey (London, ON CANADA)
Children’s Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo / Marion Reslow (Buffalo, NY)
Children’s Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton / Stephanie Nixdorf (Boca Raton, FL)
Disciples of Christ General Assembly Choir. Christian Church Disciples of Christ General Assembly (Portland, OR)
Hosanna Choir of Strings, Etc / Leslie Kent (Ancaster, ON CANADA)
New Jersey Children’s Choir / Carol Richardi (Upper Montclair, NJ)