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The Two Kinds of People 
(Generosity & Greed)

FROM: Virtues and Vices: 7 Pieces for SATB Chorus and Piano

VOICING: SATB with Piano


DIFFICULTY: medium easy


TONE: cautionary




GENERAL: This work was commissioned by Sound Ecologies Inc. (Indiana 2024, Luke Garrigus, President). It premiered at Choral Reflections: Sacred Music by Indiana Composers at the University of Indianapolis, on March 7, 2024. (Recording Below)


TEXT: Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

The Two Kinds of People (Generosity & Greed) 


There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more I say.


Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.


Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.


Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.


Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.


No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.


Wherever you go you will find the earth's masses
Are always divided in just these two classes.


And oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.


In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of labor and worry and care?   

Note from the Composer

“The Two Kinds of People” is the first movement of Virtues and Vices: 7 Pieces for SATB Chorus and Piano and it explores the virtue/vice of generosity/greed. This movement is the cautionary preamble for the movements to follow. The minor tonality, folksy melody, and use of repetition combine with the text for an ominous effect that draws the ear. The melodic and harmonic simplicity directs attention to the text, which poignantly asks the listener to consider what kind of person they are.

Ordering Scores

This work is published as a digital score with a performance license. The cost is $3.00 per score, 10 copy minimum order. See "Virtues and Vices" to purchase the complete multi-movement work. 


To Order:

  • Click the link to email Daniel Watson Music LLC. 

  • Specify the total number of performers (include all singers, directors, pianists) and the name of your choir.

  • An invoice will be sent to you via PayPal requesting payment.  

  • Once payment is received, you will emailed the licensed PDF for the above number of copies within three business days (excluding weekends and holidays).

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