Going on a Lion Hunt
Keep Going and Don't Give Up
Going on a lion hunt.
Going to catch a big one.
I’m not scared.
Oh no! A swamp!
Can’t go over it, can’t go under it…
Have to go through it…
This well-known chant-along story was a favourite of mine growing up. As kids, we used to act it out at night time, trooping through the house encountering different obstacles in each room, before finally reaching the back window and seeing the “lion”: a distant treetop illumined by a yellow streetlight which somehow managed to terrify us.
The story has grown on me. I love how the goal of the adventure – the lion (or bear in some versions) – is actually something scary and confronting. Yet you really have to want it, because at each stage of the journey there is a good reason for turning back. A muddy swamp, long grass, a river, a dark cave...
I wrote this piece as a prayer for a friend who was in one of life’s dark places. It was a prayer for him to have the courage and perseverance needed for the lion hunt, to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
That’s why this music sounds so relentlessly determined. There is no stopping. There is no turning to the side. There is no turning back. There is only the onwards journey. A fight for life.
© David John Lang 2016
Going on a Lion Hunt was first performed by the Adelaide Wind Orchestra, conducted by Bryan Griffiths, on Saturday 9 July 2016 at the Concordia College Chapel, Highgate, SA, Australia.
This is music is available to