The Oubit


William Copper

Chorus SATB, Piano optional


An oubit is a caterpillar, used here as a metaphor for a young poet. Tak' warning, then, young poets, from this poor oubit's shame ... for critics lie, like saumon fry, to mak' their meals of you. Setting of the poem by Charles Kingsley; from Two English Satires, Opus 65.

Revised edition, easier and better, 2006. Recording and score links below.

"Your Oubit was a big hit with everyone, and I think we did it justice. I know the chorus enjoyed singing it." Judith Gary, Music Director, The Virginia Consort

Other choral works that have been programmed with The Oubit include Morten Lauridsen's Dirait-On, Moses Hogan's I Can Tell the World, Robert Schumann's Zigeunerleben, French Choruses from The Lark by Leonard Bernstein, and "Ca' the Yowes" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

By the composer of Lovelife Dances and Sea Fever

    It was an hairy oubit, sae proud he crept alang,
    A feckless hairy oubit, and merrily he sang:
    "My Minnie bade me bide at home, until I won my wings;
    I shew her soon, my heart's aboon the warks o' creeping things."

    This feckless hairy oubit cam' hirpling by the linn;
    A swirl o' wind cam' doun the glen, and blew that oubit in.
    O when he took the water, the saumon fry they rose
    And tigged him a' to pieces sma' by head and tail and toes.

    Tak' warning then, young poets, by this poor oubit's shame;
    Though Pegasus may nicher loud, keep Pegasus at hame.
    O haud your hands frae inkhorns, though a' the muses woo;
    For critics lie, like saumon fry, to mak' their meals of you.

        Charles Kingsley


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Copyright 2001-2006 William P. Copper

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