Catalogue no. 4068

The virgin's cradle hymn

Music: Douglas Cook, Words: Anon

Voicing: SAA

Performance time approx: 1m 15s

Range S and solo: e♭' – g'' / A1: c' – g' / A2: b♭ – f'

Price code: A


This forgotten lullaby to the Christ child was brought to a wider audience by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who found it in an old print in a German village inn in 1799. Douglas Cook’s exquisite setting swells and dies in two-bar phrases, also rocking gently between major and minor tonalities.

Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridet
Quae tam dulcem somnum videt.
Dormi Jesu blandule.
Si non dormis mater plorat
Inter fila cantans orat.
Blande, veni, somnule.

from a Dutch print published by Hieronmymus Wierix (1553-1619) in Jesu Christi Dei Domini Salvatoris nostra Infantia

Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling:
Mother sits beside thee smiling;
Sleep, my darling, tenderly!
If thou sleep not, mother mourneth,
Singing as her wheel she turneth:
Come, soft slumber, balmily!

English rendering by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Sleep, Jesus! Mother smiles
who sees such sweet sleep.
Sleep Jesus, gentle one.
If you do not sleep, your mother weeps,
prays, singing, among her threads.
Come, sweet sleep.

literal translation by Canasg editors

Card ImageChristmas, midwinter, New Year

The virgin's cradle hymn

Douglas Cook


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