Joan Szymko

This  Chorus America commission is an accessible work for treble choir that explores the real life consequences of bullying; evoking a spirit of empathy, not with sugar-coated niceties, but with uncensored emotions, real taunts and fears. 


Item Voicing/Instrumentation Duration Price Audio View Score Quantity
licensed PDF (minimum 12 copies)
SSA, piano $2.25 https://joanszymko.com/sites/joanszymko.com/files/audio_samples/WORDS%20SSA_0.mp3
JS-093 digital purchase only N/A
licensed PDF
SATB, piano $2.25 https://joanszymko.com/sites/joanszymko.com/files/audio_samples/JS-121_Words%28SATB%29.mp3
licensed PDF
SA, piano $2.25
JS-095 digital purchase only N/A


Joan Szymko

Why do you hate me?

Why do you shun me?

Why do you laugh when I break down and cry?

Why won’t you help me 

when they’re all making fun of me?

Why won’t you stick up for me 

when they're shouting and whispering 

and texting and posting their lies?

"So fat, 

so ugly,

so worthless 

— so gay.

Hey loser, hey stupid—

you should just go away."

Words kill. (so mean, so heartless, so cruel) 

Words can kill.

I’ve tried hard 

but I can’t will them to stop. I’ve tried hard, 

but my heart and my body are scarred. 

And I’m afraid 

I’ve begun to believe what your words 

say about me.  

Tell me, what do your words 

say about you?



licensed PDF (minimum 12 copies)