“Rise” is a song by John August (lyrics) and Sam Davis (music).

Sung from the point of view of a young baker, it’s an I Want song in the tradition of “Part of Your World” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Written as a one-off, it’s not part of any larger musical. (At least not as of 2017.) You can learn more about the origin and future of the song on Episode 318 of Scriptnotes.

We see “Rise” as a good audition song for actors, with playable moments and some big notes, especially at the end.

Let us know what you think! John can be found on Twitter (@johnaugust) and by email (ask@johnaugust.com ).

Demos and Backing Tracks

We were delighted to have Curt Hansen sing the demo for “Rise”.

Here’s the original version, recorded on a rainy day in New York City with piano, bass and percussion.

Get this track as an mp3: Rise (demo) (right-click to download)

Later, Sam built out an arrangement to give a better sense of how the song could feel with larger orchestration. Matthew Chilelli provided additional instrumentation.

Get this track as an mp3: Rise (featuring Curt Hansen) (right-click to download)

For folks who want to sing along at home, here’s the same track without the vocals:

Get this track as an mp3: Rise (instrumental) (right-click to download)

Sheet Music

You can download the sheet music as a PDF from Sam Davis’s site.


Every day, we
Bake the bread, we
Make the rolls, we
Put them in the oven

Every day, rise
With the sun — no, before the sunrise, I
Have to make the dough
Have to mill the grain
Not that I complain
Many have it worse
Isn’t such a curse
Like my uncle said:
“At least you have some bread.”
He’s right.
And dead.

But at night I have dreams
That seem more like a calling
Where this lowly apprentice
Can end this appalling
Excuse for a nothing life
Common life
Yes, a life
Not a life I want to live

But dreams are for night
And nights are not long
When you wake
To bake
Before dawn

I want to wake in the palace
I want to rise with the sun in my eyes
With a full night of dreaming
And the sun brightly beaming
This baker boy finally starts
To rise

Stroll through the halls of the castle, I will
Dine at a table
And eat with a fork!
I’ll have grand conversations
With princes of nations
This baker boy finally starts
To rise

And if there’s a dance
I guess I might ask
If the princess cares to dance
And if she says yes we might
Stay up all night
And kiss by the light of dawn
I know well…

Who is this confident stranger?
This kisser of women
This charming surprise
Is he merely a baker
Simply a faker
Who’s to say which is the true disguise?

I will tell the princess the truth
The lowness of my birth
She will tell her own secrets too
With tears and laughter that ends in “I do.”

Ride through the town in a carriage
Stop at the baker’s to pay our respects
“We’ll have need of your breading
To feed our big wedding!”
Your baker boy finally gets to…

Dream in the daylight.
Dream of a life not covered in flour
And ovens that burn with a heavenly power
To bake the anger out of this joy
To make a man out of this boy
Dream of the sun
I want to rise!
I want to rise!

Rise is copyright (c) 2017 John August & Sam Davis