If I…

1996 | original version for soprano, followed by versions for mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone and bass with piano.

2000 | version for SATB/piano, arranged by Bruce Rosenblum.

2014 | baritone/clarinet/piano.

2020| soprano/clarinet/piano.

Poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886).

Song 4 of Four Dickinson Songs (available for purchase as a solo song as of March 2019).

To purchase the recording with baritone Randall Scarlata, clarinetist Anthony McGill and composer at the piano, click here

The song is also included in 2 Anthologies:

American Art Songs for the Sacred Service, compiled and edited by Karen Leigh-Post. To purchase, please click here.

Royal Conservatory of Music Voice Series, Repertoire Level 8, 2019 edition. To purchase, please click here.

Note regarding If I… 

On July 31, 2020, The New Era Voice Festival sponsored by The M Institute for the Arts in DC, presented “In Conversation with Lori Laitman” — and Tracy Cox and I spoke about American art song, women in music, and other topics. Tracy and pianist Thomas Morris performed selections from my Four Dickinson Songs, and in the final song, Tracy sang my setting of the word “fainting” a different way than I had written it — but I loved it, and wondered why I hadn’t thought of this previously.

So, as an alternative, the “ing” of the word “fainting” in 11 and 31, can be sung on the last 8th note instead of as written.

Thank you, Tracy and Thomas!


Some newer editions may already have these corrections.

  • You can push the tempo from 1 into 2 if you like.
  • in the piano solo from 22 – 30, the melody should be brought out, and the pianist should relax the tempo from the pickup to 28 until the downbeat of 30.
  • from 38-39, there can be a slight broadening.
  • In newer versions I am much more specific regarding pedal markings. If you’d like a complete listing, please email me. Otherwise, the most important detail is to hold the piano pedal down for the last 2 measures of the song, so that the low E flat sound remains.

If you have an older copy, please email for a complimentary updated score.