Come Back Like the Sea
Come Back Like the Sea is a song about impermanence and longing for the return of better days. It brings to life Sara Teasdale's poem "Ebb Tide", in which she uses the metaphor of the ocean's tide to symbolize the inevitable ups and downs in our lives. The music captures the poem’s sea imagery and strong sense of yearning with a captivating opening sea soundscape, melodic lines that ebb and flow like the tide, and an expressive piano accompaniment that weaves throughout the work. This piece is a great fit for concert programs exploring themes such as the ocean, water, change, longing, and looking ahead to brighter days.
This work was commissioned and premiered by Coastal Sound Youth Choir on Friday, June 17th, 2022 in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
Program note from the composer
"Come Back Like the Sea is a song about impermanence and longing for the return of better days. It brings to life Sara Teasdale poem “Ebb Tide”, in which she likens the inevitable ups and downs in our lives to the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide. I wrote this work in the summer of 2021, after over a year of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and banned in-person choral singing in the area where I was living (the coastal city of Vancouver). So, when I came across this poem, its overall sentiment, ocean imagery, and in particular the penultimate line “come back like the sea with singing”, really hit home. You’ll hear some of this natural imagery come across in the opening sea soundscape of the work, the melodic phrasing which ebbs and flows like the tide, and the expressive piano accompaniment. As you listen, I hope you’ll be transported to the ocean’s shore and find a sense of peace and comfort, as I did, in knowing that just as the tide always returns, so too do brighter days." — K.G.