Moon Goddess

SSA choir, 4-hand piano, large frame/buffalo drum, finger cymbals, suspended cymbal

Already a favorite among college and high school women's choirs, "Moon Goddess" is a tenacious, ferocious and distinctly feminine anthem of praise to the goddess Inanna. The text was written by Enheduanna, the FIRST writer, male or female, in history whose name and work have been preserved.

"In her poems to the Sumerian goddess of love Inanna, she speaks to a deity who has descended to earth as an ally, as a friend to help her in her need. In the poems’ sensuality, surprising metaphors, and intimacy, they recall Sappho’s poems to her ally Aphrodite." ~ Willis Barnstone

Perusal Score: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
JH - C020
Total Pages: 
Commissioned By: 
Commissioned by the 2011 ACDA Women's Choir R&S Commissioning Consortium, Iris S. Levine, National Chair
Premiere Ensemble: 
This work was premiered by over 20 choirs in 2011-2012.
See video

Select performances:
Luther College Aurora, Sandra Peter, conductor
Cantala (Lawrence University Women's Choir), Phillip A. Swan, conductor
The Ohio State University Women's Glee Club, Richard Schnipke, conductor
Vox Femina Los Angeles, Iris S. Levine, conductor

Text Author or Source: 

O my lady, on hearing your sound, hills and flatlands bow.
O my lady, guardian of all the great essences, you have picked them up and hung them
on your hand.
You are lofty like Heaven. Let the world know! You are wide like the earth. Let the world know!
You strike everything down in battle.
O my lady, on your wings
you hack away the land and charge disguised as a charging storm,
roar as a roaring storm,
thunder and keep thundering, and snort with evil winds.
O primary one,
moon goddess Inanna of heaven and earth!
On your harp of sighs I hear your dirge.
O my lady, this song has made you great and exalted you.
O my lady, wife of An, I have told your fury!
~Enheduanna (born ca. 2300 B.C.)
~Adapted by Jocelyn Hagen, based on adaptations by Aliki and Willis Barnstone, from William W. Hallo and J. J. A. van Dijk, The Exaltation of Inanna (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968)