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What is a Single Mom to Do? (vocal with orchestra)

There is a character named Anna in the two-act musical stage play A GIANT INFLATABLE CHRISTMAS who happens to be a single mother. The play is set in December of 2011, and Anna, as office manager of a manufacturing company, has not had a raise in four years. The economy is still very tough and things are not easy for her and her kids. This song expresses her melancholy feelings about her situation and also to express her faith that things will get better.

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What is a single mom to do?
There's been no raises now for four straight years!
Guess we will have to muddle through;
Swallow all my pride and choke back tears.
It's for the kids I keep on going
But it gets tougher every day.
I try to rest secure in knowing
That God, you're with me all the way.

What is a single mom to do?
I'll try to keep the heat and lights on.
We are going to make it through.
Suck it up and just keep pressing on.
But you would think that life would be
More of joy, and less of woe.
And maybe there's a way to see
A better way that we should go.

As a child I would dream of a fable:
A ball gown, a carriage, a prince,
Now I have to put food on the table,
And keep kids in clothing that fits.

What is a single mom to do?
There's been no raises now for four straight years!
Guess we will have to muddle through;
Swallow all my pride and choke back tears.
It's for the kids I keep on going
But it gets tougher every day.
I try to rest secure in knowing
That God, You will show me a way.
That God, You will show me a way.

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The range is middle C to E, a tenth, and suitable for mezzo soprano.

The pdf file includes a rehearsal score containing the vocal line and a piano part that could be used for performance without an orchestra, or with a partial orchestra.

The song itself is just over three minutes long, and is followed in the score by a 40-second scene change tag. The tag could be shortened to 20 seconds, or lengthened to 60 or 80 seconds through the use of a cut or repeats at the double bar lines provided.

The song is intended to be performed with the pit orchestra for the show, and 19 pieces are recommended:

Alto Sax
Tenor Sax
Trumpet 1 & 2 (one each)
F Horn 1 & 2 (one each)
Trombone 1 & 2 (one each)
Violin 1 & 2 (two each)
Keyboard (Acoustic Grand)
Guitar (one player: hollow body electric)
Electric Bass
Drum Kit (one player: bass, snare, high hat and ride cymbals, tom-toms)

Since this is written for a pit orchestra, no substitute parts are included.

MP3 sound sample: entire piece (synthesizer/midi).

WHAT IS A SINGLE MOM TO DO? by Tom Kirkland, a mezzo soprano solo with 19-piece orchestra, comes in a pdf file of 729K, including a six-page vocal/piano rehearsal score, twenty-six page orchestral score, eleven two-page parts, two three-page parts and a license page, sixty-one pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:10 for the song alone, plus about 40 seconds for the scene change tag at the end.

The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.

Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.


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Last update: 24 APR 2023