Music: Trad. arr. Sheena Phillips. Words: Martin Shaw (1875 – 1958) (based on the original German)
SATB & folk harp
performance time approx 2m 30s
Range S: f' – c'' / A: c' – a'' / T: e – f' / B: A – c'
Price code: B
Complexity: *

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This carol is actually derived from two German carols : the words of the verses come from a carol whose original tune is unknown, while the tune and chorus come from the 17th century rocking carol Vom himmel hoch.

The word ‘Susanni’ is not a name but a contraction of ‘Suse, Ninne!’ or ‘Sleep, child!’

The recording is by the Magpie Consort of Columbus, Ohio, from the CD All hayle to the days.


A little child there is y-born,
Eia, eia, susanni, susanni, susanni
And he sprang out of Jesse's thorn,
Alleluya, alleluya
To save all us that were forlorn.

Now Jesus is the childès name,
And Mary mild she is his dame,
And so our sorrow is turned to gain.

It fell upon the high midnight,
The stars they shone both fair and bright,
The angels sang with all their might.

English translation by Martin Shaw from The Oxford Book of Carols, © 1964 Oxford University Press. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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