I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Song cycleThe ButterflyYes, That’s The Way Things AreBirdsongThe GardenMan Proposes, God DisposesThe Old House.

1996, Revised 2018 | soprano/alto saxophone; soprano/clarinet or soprano/bassoon.

2023 | mezzo-soprano/alto saxophone; mezzo-soprano/clarinet or mezzo-soprano/bassoon.

Poems by children who were killed in the Holocaust: Pavel Friedman (1921-1944); Koleba (combination of names of 3 poets — Kosek (1932-1942), Löwy (1931-1942), Bachner (died 1944)); anonymous and Franta Bass (1930-1944). Duration: 18 minutes long.

Below is a video from a recital at PianoCraft in Gaithersburg, MD on October 10, 2018, with soprano Maureen McKay and saxophonist Gary Louie (for whom the piece was written).

There are multiple recordings of this work. The premiere recordings was on Albany Records’ Mystery — Songs of Lori Laitman (released in 2000) with soprano Lauren Wagner and saxophonist Gary Louie. Please see below and/or my recordings page for others.

Publication History: 

The work was originally published by Arsis Press but later sold to Empire Publishing.

In 2019, after years of legal wrangling with Empire, in 2019 I was able to regain my copyright for all versions of I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Any questions with regards to performance or recordings should be directed to me. Under no circumstances should licensing fees be paid to Empire Publishing.

PDF download sheet music links are below.

Hard copies are available for purchase through Classical Vocal Reprints.


If you have an older version sold prior to 2020, please contact me for a complimentary updated score.

Prior to February 16, 2020, there were two errors in the MusicaNeo voice and saxophone edition: the cover of the sax transposed part mistakenly said “voice and bassoon” – even thought the part was correct. My apologies.

More importantly, some tempo alterations were missing at the end of song 2:


83 – add poco rit.

85 – add slightly slower.

88 add a tempo.