This is the shortest of all the Lear alphabets settings and that is no accident with everyone running away to avoid the bite of the rattlesnake. As a four-part round overlapping at one bar’s distance it is quite literally “rolled up so tight”. Rolling the opening ‘R’ with a glissando makes a suitably threatening sound but might need a bit of practice. Then sing with lots of accents and plenty of staccato (to make it all sound panicky and urgent) as well as a rapid (belly wobbling) run on the “quick” of “quickly”.  The glissando in the penultimate bar could be on a mix of pitches but try to get the final “Rattlesnake bite” as a neatly pitched E minor chord.

Level: difficult

"R Was A Rattlesnake"

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