Monday, December 19, 2011

♬ Nativity Carol ♬

Sleep, baby, sleep! The Mother sings:
Heaven's angels kneel and fold their wings.
Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep! The shepherds sing:
Through heaven, through earth, hosannas ring.
Sleep, baby, sleep!

"A Christmas Lullaby", John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

On Christmas eve 19 years ago, on my first Christmas away from family, I was introduced to John Rutter -- not in the flesh, alas, but rather in the form of a polycarbonate plastic disc entitled "Carols from Clare". As the Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, Rutter produced this ethereal CD. One of my 24 favourites on the disc is Rutter's own beautiful composition, a gentle lullaby called "Nativity Carol", performed here by the Kings College Choir, Cambridge.

Nativity Carol
Music and lyrics by John Rutter

1. Born in a stable so bare, born so long ago;
Born 'neath light of star He who loved us so.

Far away silent He lay, born today, your homage pay,
(For) Christ is born for aye, born on Christmas Day.

2. Cradled by mother so fair, tender her lullaby;
Over her Son so dear angel hosts fill the sky.

3. Wise men from distant far land, shepherds from starry hills
Worship this Babe so rare, hearts with warmth He fills.

4. Love in that stable was born into our hearts to flow;
Innocent dreaming Babe, make me Thy love to know.

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