Music: Eric M. Pazdziora. Text: George MacDonald.
Premiered December 16, 2010, Holy Trinity Church, Chicago IL.
This piece for choir was premiered on December 16, 2010, by Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. The text is a Christmas poem by Scottish author George MacDonald (1824-1905), originally entitled “A Christmas Carol.” MacDonald’s poem plays with the traditional carol imagery of Mary singing a lullaby to the Christ child, but changes the image by subtly looking forward to the pieta. My choral setting has been widely performed, and arranged for several different ensembles.
THE SAVIOR’S CAROL
George MacDonald (1824-1905)
Babe Jesus lay in Mary’s lap,
The sun shone in his hair;
And this was how she saw, mayhap,
The crown already there.
For she sang: “Sleep on, my little king;
Bad Herod dares not come;
Before thee sleeping, holy thing,
The wild winds would be dumb.”
“I kiss thy hands, I kiss thy feet,
My child, so long desired;
Thy hands will never be soiled, my sweet;
Thy feet will never be tired.”
“For thou art the king of men, my son;
Thy crown I see it plain!
And men shall worship thee, every one,
And cry, Glory! Amen!”
Babe Jesus he opened his eyes wide–
At Mary looked her lord.
Mother Mary stinted her song and sighed;
Babe Jesus said never a word.
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