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Giant Of The Forest

Winner of the inaugural Australian National Choral Association (ANCA) Composition Competition - Primary School and Children's Choir category (2018)

In the south-west of Tasmania a massive Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) stands 100 metres tall. It is the world’s second tallest tree and the tallest flowering plant.

For five hundred years it has survived fires and evaded the saws of humans – unlike other trees that were even taller. It was given the name Centurion, because it was the one-hundredth of the giant trees to be registered. The name however, perfectly embodies not just its height but also the character of this majestic survivor.

The song traces Centurion’s journey from a tiny seed, just 2 millimetres, striving to reach up into the light from the forest floor and to send its roots deep into the soil below. After five centuries it continues to grow. When finally its life ends, through the wonder of regeneration its seeds will take root and continue the legacy of the mighty Centurion – giant of the forest.

In February 2019, just after this song was written, Centurion suffered damage from the bushfires that swept through Tasmania, as reported here by ABC News. Tasmania's 100-metre tall tree survives bushfire but not without damage

2 parts - for ages 7 and up
SATB and SSA versions available here


Giant Of The Forest
Download includes:
Stacks Image 5367
vocal recording
piano backing track
piano/vocal score
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Note: through an arrangement with APRA/AMCOS schools from Australia and New Zealand only may make 5 copies of each score purchased.
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ages 7 and up
Centurion Tree
Natural history
modern choral
2 part choir
Musical Range:
C4 to C5
score - video preview
vocal recording - preview
Giant Of The Forest

Words and Music by Glyn Lehmann

I fell to the earth
A tiny seed
Five hundred years ago
Struggling and striving to grow straight and strong
Here in my mountain forest home

I am Centurion

I have seen fires raging over ridges
Skeletons left in their wake
I have heard the steel blades
Tearing through the tall trees
The crack and the crash as they fall

I am Centurion
Giant of the forest

And when my life ends
A seed will fall
Onto the earth below
Struggling and striving to grow straight and strong
Here in my mountain forest home

Rising up
Striving for life-giving light
Down, down, down
Delving down deep
Into Earth’s damp fertile soil

I am Centurion
Giant of the forest

© 2018 Glyn Lehmann. All rights reserved
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PO Box 412
SA 5155

ABN 64519137876