Had a Great Fall by Alec Schumacker

July 22, 2021  |   Posted In

Schumacker - Had a Great Fall_p1Schumacker - Had a Great Fall_p1


Had a Great Fall By Alec Schumacker

Ensemble Type: Full Orchestra
Duration: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Grade Level: 5

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses,
And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

One of the many theories about the genesis of this poem is that Humpty-Dumpty was not a loveable, bumbling egg, but was in fact a cannon. In the summer of 1648, during the height of the English Civil War, a fierce battle was raging in the town of Colchester between the royalists and the roundheads. The church in that town, St. Mary’s at the Wall, had a very tall church tower on which rested a royalist cannon: Humpty-Dumpty. The roundheads laid siege to Colchester for eleven weeks, and finally managed to knock down the church tower, sending the cannon which had been devastating their forces to the ground below. While the royalists (all the king’s men) tried to fix the cannon, they ultimately failed, and lost the battle.

Had a Great Fall attempts to portray and capture the sounds of this legendary battle, from the blasts of the cannon to the ringing of the church tower bells. The work climaxes with the destruction of the tower and Humpty-Dumpty’s subsequent tumble to the ground.

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Additional information

Weight 0.1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 × 11 × 17 in

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