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Tribute for Cello Sextet

Composed by Lene Holt Nielsen


Title: Tribute - A Medley of Spiritual Songs for Cello Sextet
Composer: Lene Holt Nielsen
Instrument: Violoncello
Edited By: Lene Holt Nielsen
Instrumentation: Violoncello Ensemble
Pages: 14 for the score and 24 for the violoncello parts

Purchase the score and parts together and receive 50% off the combined price!

The first musical expression of the human being is singing. Before we can even speak our native tongue we begin uttering sounds that express our feelings, conditions and our need to be together with our fellow human beings. We sing it out as tiny people, and the big people come to us for help, love and nurturing. Thus the “inner song” always lies underneath all good musical expression also via an instrument. It is the oldest thing we know as musicians and the cello is very well suited for expressing that “inner human song”.

My first experience in music with others was joining the local school choir when I was nine years old. It was in the early seventies, and new songs came to our attention in the choir repertoire. One of my favorites was We Shall Overcome and another was the beautiful spiritual song Deep River - a song of deep spiritual longing for a better world. When I began composing Tribute it seemed to me that it would be the best way to conclude this little medley of spiritual songs – in a longing for a better world.

While studying this little music piece it is a very good idea to begin with singing the songs that are included in this medley, to get an idea about phrasing and rhythm – and the idea of the spirit of the songs that you are interpreting.

The songs are as follows:
  1. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
  2. Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
  3. When the Saints Come Marching In
  4. Mary's Boy Child
  5. Give Me That Old Time Religion
  6. Deep River
By the way – it is no coincidence, that “Deep River” follows “Mary's Boy Child” and “Give Me That Old Time Religion”. Mary's boy child gave us a completely new understanding of life and we humans very often step back to our old patterns of thinking – our “old time religion” while being opposed to new ideas. My opinion is that we shouldn't get stuck in old ideas – we should dream and strive for a better world. It only needs crossing of a deep river to get there. And when the saints come marching please do remember to march in – with steps both loud, clear and precise!

Have fun – and if it's possible put your performance on the Internet and I'll be able to enjoy it back home in Denmark. Thanks to my friend in Esbjerg, Denmark, Peter Oest for getting me going as a cello composer and for writing down Tribute on the computer for me in the original form.

-Lene Holt Nielsen, composer
January 2013, Aalborg, Denmark.


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Violoncello I
Score Color Option 1
Color Option 2 Black & White

The text for each song is as follows:

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho
An’ de walls come tumblin’ down.

You may talk about yo’ king of Gideon
You may talk about yo’ man of Saul
Dere’s none like good ole Joshua
At de battle of Jericho

Up to de walls of Jericho
He marched with spear in han’
“Go blow dem ram horns”, Joshua cried,
‘Cause de battle am in my han’.”

Den de lam’ ram sheep begin to blow, 
Trumpets begin to soun’
Joshua commanded de children to shout
An’ de walls come tumblin’ down
Dat mornin’ 

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho
Joshua fit de battle of Jericho
An’ de walls come tumblin’ down.


Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Glory hallelujah!

Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down
Oh, yes, Lord
Sometimes I'm almost to the ground
Oh, yes, Lord

Although you see me going 'long so
Oh, yes, Lord
I have my trials here below
Oh, yes, Lord

If you get there before I do
Oh, yes, Lord
Tell all-a my friends I'm coming to HEAVEN!
Oh, yes, Lord


When the Saints Come Marching In
We are trav'ling in the footsteps 
Of those who've gone before, 
And we'll all be reunited, 
On a new and sunlit shore, 

Oh, when the saints go marching in 
Oh, when the saints go marching in 
Lord how I want to be in that number 
When the saints go marching in 

And when the sun begins to shine 
And when the sun begins to shine 
Lord, how I want to be in that number 
When the sun begins to shine 

Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call 
Oh, when the trumpet sounds its call 
Lord, how I want to be in that number 
When the trumpet sounds its call 

Some say this world of trouble, 
Is the only one we need, 
But I'm waiting for that morning, 
When the new world is revealed. 


Give Me That Old Time Religion
Give me that old-time religion,
Give me that old-time religion,
Give me that old-time religion,
It's good enough for me.


Deep River
Deep River,
My home is over Jordan.
Deep River, Lord.
I want to cross over into campground.
Deep River.
My home is over Jordan.
Deep River, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground

Oh, don't you want to go,
To the Gospel feast;
That Promised Land,
Where all is peace?

Oh, deep River, Lord,
I want to cross over into campground.