Three Songs

Song Collection

Three Songs sets texts by Carl Sandburg. Crawford scored these songs for mezzo-soprano (or contralto), oboe, percussion, and piano. Optional wind and string ostinati may join.

Date: 1930Composer: Ruth Crawford SeegerText: Carl Sandburg

Print vitals & song text


These three songs were all premiered separately (“Rat Riddles” in 1930 in New York, “In Tall Grass” in 1932 in Berlin, and “Prayers of Steel” in 1933 in Amsterdam). However, the three songs are grouped together in a cohesive cycle, involving a mixture of serialist compositional technique and free composition.

–Christie Finn

(Source: Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)


Sheet Music

Three Songs

Composer(s): Ruth Crawford Seeger

Song(s): 1. Rat Riddles
2. Prayers of Steel
3. In Tall Grass

Buy via Sheet Music Plus

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.