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. For choruses wanting to sing in a language other than English, this be Scottish.

"Your Oubit was a big hit with everyone, and I think we did it justice. I know the chorus enjoyed singing it."

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.

    It was an hairy oubit, sae proud s/he crept alang,
    A feckless hairy oubit, and merrily s/he sang:
    "My Minnie/Maxie bade me bide at home, until I won my wings;
    I shew her/him 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 s/he took the water, the saumon fry they rose
    And tigged her/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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William Copper bio

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