The Cough Drop Song (for singing pianist)


The Cough Drop Song (2014), for singing pianist (PDF)
Duration: c. 5:30 minutes

Please note: Purchasing this item will yield 1 digital download of the score PDF in US-Letter size.

Listen to the premiere by Zachary Ridgway here:


The Cough Drop Song – is a piece that expresses the myriad emotions caused by the crinkling of cough drop wrappers during concerts. It was composed for and premiered by Zachary Ridgway, singing and playing at the piano. Enjoy!

Bass Voice, F#2-C4 range*
*if transposition is requested, please contact the composer

The Cough Drop Song – Lyrics
This is a song about audience participation.
A pet peeve, a cardinal sin?
Affliction of the cultured.
Maybe it’s worse than cell phones going off during a slow movement.
Let’s begin.
I am dressed to a tee and come out for a bow.
I have practiced hundreds of hours…
The bench height is right.
The exposition goes great.
Suddenly I hear it start and then it’s too late:
A cough drop wrapper!
You can blow your nose during my arpeggios.
You can rummage in your purse.
But, please, please DON’T unleash this aural curse.

Get out another cough drop.
Crinkle that wrapper one more time.
Unwrap it painfully slowly –
really, that’s just fine.
Get out another cough drop.
Bring enough to share.
Your friends will feel left out;
Now THAT would not be fair.

I have practiced not to get distracted.
Don’t need silence while I play.
The audience and I could listen to your lozenges all day.


Live performance is so tricky, as timing is everythin’.
You resist until the music becomes pianissimo, then the crinkling can begin!
Crinkle, crackle, ripple, rumple, crumple, wrinkle, crease.


In avoiding a cough you make people scoff.
Few things are worse than this cure.
Maybe next time if you truly care, bring your cough drops unwrapped, in a tupperware?!
You’re right.
Concert hall acoustics are perfect for the delicate sound of crinkling plastic.


Words & Music (c) 2014 by Yvonne Freckmann

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