Lullay My Sweet One - Notes and Lyrics










Lullay My Sweet One: Music for Day Dreams and Good Nights

1. Hushabye Birdie/Star of the County Down 3:40
2. Nobilis, Humilis, the Hymn to St. Magnus 2:34
3. Os Reis Do Caurel 2:32
4. Your Soul is a Chosen Landscape: Mera Merosa
A Ei Di’r ‘Deryn Du? 3:30
5. Seoithín, Seóthúló 2:10
6. Ye Banks and Braes 2:42
7. La Tierche Estampie Royale 3:48
8. Venus’ Birds 1:52
9. Lullay My Liking 3:20
10. Numi, Numi/Durme, Durme 5:00
11. À la Claire Fontaine/Crooked Waltz 3:44
12. Wexford Lullaby 3:12
13. ‘ S Umbó Aerá 2:36
14. Dark Island 3:05
15. Tàladh Chriosta/Manx Lullaby 3:46
16. Lullay Lullow 2:48
17. Traveller’s Prayer 2:10
18. Goodnight and Joy 3:08

A note on these arrangements: Music arranging can be a fluid experience, and coming from both a classical and folk music background, I enjoy incorporating elements of both. The choral arrangements are written out, as in classical music, but the parts for the instrumentalists are not, and we work off of chord charts and musical road plans. Charlie, Diana, Kevin and I have sculpted our own parts in these arrangements based on these musical maps.
--Shira Kammen

Soloists and small ensembles are indicated by an * throughout.

Lullabies have probably been sung by parents to their children since the human voice was first raised in song. The act of singing a child to sleep seems universal, and so there is a wealth of beautiful songs from which to choose selections for a recording. Many of these pieces you could imagine singing or playing for children as they go to sleep in their beds. And since we often rock children in our arms rhythmically to calm them, other pieces have that swinging pulse that invites you to join the gentle sway of the music, as you hold a child, or just enjoy feeling the music in your own body.

While rehearsing and performing with San Francisco Choral Artists I was pregnant with my daughter, Madeleine, and so was singing to her even before she was born. A nighttime or naptime lullaby was part of our daily lives, and soon I found myself looking to sources other than ones I remembered from my own childhood. When we both joined the California Revels (with her in the children’s chorus), we enjoyed singing together in the lovely lullaby scenes featured in those shows. Several of the songs on this recording are drawn from those quiet, beautiful lullaby moments in recent California Revels performances. The pleasure we took in singing those songs was shared by many others in the cast, and the idea of doing a lullaby CD grew. While collaborating with Shira Kammen on a Medieval music, dance and cuisine workshop in 2007, we decided we really needed to put this recording together. The name Bungalow Ensemble was inspired by the fun we had rehearsing these pieces in the cozy living room of our family’s 1912 bungalow, making music together and filling the house (and sometimes the neighborhood on warm days) with our songs.

In addition to the seven lullabies from California Revels shows, others of the songs are ones we chose whose lyrics speak of parental love, tenderness, farewells, hopes for the future, lost love, or contemplation. Several were drawn from the rich tradition of nativity songs, and for some of these we adapted the lyrics. Many of the songs are traditional, some with additional lyrics, and seven are beautiful arrangements done by Shira, most specifically for this recording. We discovered while singing these songs that many were based on delightful nature imagery, calling forth birds and blossoms to create an atmosphere of beauty and repose, perfect for calming children and adults alike. And a few songs we chose simply because they are gorgeous music, and while not lullabies in their lyrics, they have a dreamy quality that seems to fit the lullaby mode. We hope you enjoy these songs for day dreams and good nights.
--Theresa Nelson


1. Hushabye Birdie/Star of the County Down

Music: Scottish traditional (Hushabye) and Irish traditional (County Down)
Lyrics: Scottish traditional
Arrangement: Based on Teresa Doyle’s arrangement of Hushabye, arranged for five-part vocals by Shira Kammen
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth*, Helen*, Jenny*, Linda, Madeleine*, Susan, Theresa, Tom*
Fiddle: Shira Piano: Charlie Irish Whistle: Kevin
This lovely arrangement by Shira interweaves traditional Scottish and Irish tunes, featuring nature
imagery and the rural life. After “Star of the County Down,” “Hushabye” begins with Jenny’s solo
verse, and then she is joined by Helen in a duet, and then the rest of the singers. “Star” returns and is
followed by Elizabeth, Madeleine and Tom singing part of another verse, and the song builds until
the five parts intertwine in overlapping “hushabyes” at the end.

Hush a bye birdie, croon, croon,
Hush a bye birdie, croon.
The sheep are gone to the silver wood,
And the cows are gone to the broom, broom.
And it’s braw, milking the caw, caw,
Braw milking the caw,
The birds are singing, the bells are ringing,
The wild deer galloping by, by.
Hush a bye birdie, croon, croon,
Hush a bye birdie, croon.
The goats are gone to the mountain high,
And they’ll not be home till noon, noon.
Hush a bye birdie, croon, croon,
Hush a bye birdie, croon.
The sheep are gone to the silver wood,
And the cows are gone to the broom, broom.
Hush a bye birdie, croon, croon,
Hush a bye birdie, croon.

Braw milking the caw = good milking the cow

2. Nobilis, Humilis, the Hymn to St. Magnus

Music and lyrics: Traditional medieval from Orkney Islands
Translation: Courtesy of Sigurd Towrie of Heritage of Orkney
Singers: Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine, Shira, Susan, Theresa
The “Hymn to Saint Magnus” was written in the 13th century in the Orkney Islands (near Scotland).
Written in Lydian mode, it is quite different from European church music of that period, when the
two parts in parallel thirds would have been regarded as dissonant and unpleasant, though natural
to modern ears. This kind of singing in thirds was supposed to be typical of area where the Vikings
had settled, as in the Orkney Islands. The hymn exists as a two-part composition, usually sung in a
duple meter. In our version we use for the final verse a triple meter, inspired by the work of medieval
ensemble La Reverdie. This song is heard in the California Revels 2008 Medieval Show. The text is
not a traditional lullaby, but we chose this piece for its dreamy, contemplative quality. Listen for the
soft descant Jenny sings on the words “sic decennio.” More on St. Magnus, the Earl of Orkney
may be found at:

Nobilis, humilis, Magne, martyr stabilis,
Habilis, utilis, comes venerabilis
Et tutor laudabilis tuos subditos
Serva carnis fragilis mole positos.
Socia regia tibi viri nescia
Traditur subditur casta casto jungitur
Nam neuter illuditur sic decennio
Rubente non comburitur in incendio.
Gentibus laudibus tuis insistentibus
Graciam veniam et eternam gemmam
Precuum per instanciam pater optime
Hanc salvans familiam a discrimine.

Most noble Earl Magnus, a martyr most meek,
Most constant and able, most ready to serve,
High honoured Protector, most worthy of praise,
We pray thee thy frail burdened servants to save.
Thy spouse a royal virgin was brought unto thee
And in holy nuptials was chaste joined with chaste,
And thus for the space of ten years they remained;
The bush, though on fire, was thus never consumed.
Grace, pardon, and glory from heaven do we seek,
Who ask for the help of thy praises and prayers.
O Father, bestow us an answer, we pray,
And save this family from judgment.

3. Os Reis Do Caurel

Music and Lyrics: Galician traditional
Arrangement: Shira Kammen
Translation: Kevin Carr
Singers: Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny*, Linda*, Madeleine*, Susan, Theresa*
Mandolin: Kevin Piano: Charlie
This lyrical piece was part of a lullaby scene in the California Revels 2003 show, which featured the
music, dance and stories of Galicia in northwest Spain. Charlie improvised the lilting piano part,
as did Kevin on mandolin. This lullaby from the Mary and nativity genre paints a scene with snowy
mountains and valleys and brilliant stars, as Mary engages in the practical task of washing her child’s
diapers, while the kings sing their song as they go from village to village. The song begins with
Theresa’s solo on the first verse, joined by Linda and Madeleine on the refrain, then Theresa and
Jenny on the second verse, then all the women on the second refrain. The third and fourth verses
bloom with all three parts in the lovely close harmonies of Shira’s arrangement.

Tempo de vela lo lume, Tempo do lume velar,
Neva no alto da serra, Neva no fondo do val.
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar,
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar.
Brillan altas es esstrelas, Brillan cunha luz ben clara,
Mais brilla Xesus Menino Deita dino nunhas payar.
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar,
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar.
Maria lava os cueiros No espelyo dun regueiro,
E non vei a sua cara Que so vei a do seu neno.
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar,
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar.
Os Reis dan le/o anigaldo coas mans d’adoracion,
Tonaron pra sua terra cabalgando cara/o sol.
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar,
De aldea en aldea van os Reis a cantar.

It is the time of the coming of the light, time for the light to come,
Snow on the mountain peaks, snow on the valley floor.
From village to village go the Kings, to sing.
Shining high are the stars, shining with a brilliant clear light,
More brilliant is Jesus, baby God, in his manger.
From village to village …
She does not see her face, only the face of her son.
From village to village …
The Kings give their gifts with adoring hands,
And return to their homes, riding with faces toward the sun.
From village to village…

4. Your Soul is a Chosen Landscape: Mera Merosa (Day Has Broken)
A Ei Di’r ‘Deryn Du? (Blackbird, Will You Go?)

Music: Greek traditional (Mera) and Welsh traditional (Blackbird)
Arrangement: Diana Rowan
Harp: Diana Rowan
“Your Soul is a Chosen Landscape” is the first line of a poem by Paul Verlaine, and is a thought full
of promise and mystery. Both songs in this set talk of love, one of the great arenas our souls work
and play in. “Mera Merose” is often sung at the end of Greek weddings, as dawn rises, while the
Welsh piece talks of new, as yet unfulfilled love, spanning the sweep of romance. Celtic and Greek
cultures have been some of Diana’s greatest musical influences, and coming from vastly different
times and places, these songs meet happily, highlighting each other’s golden beauty.

5. Seoithín, Seóthúló

Music: Irish traditional
Lyrics: Irish traditional, with new lyrics by Deborah L. White
Used with permission of: Shayne White for the estate of Deborah L. White, and the California Revels for the CD Christmas in an Irish Castle
Arrangement: Theresa Nelson with a new descant transcribed by Theresa from a session with Deborah White
Gaelic translation: Deborah L. White
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Madeleine*, Susan*, Theresa*
Vielle: Shira Harp: Diana
This lovely lullaby from the California Revels 2001 Celtic show, blends some of the original Gaelic
lyrics with English translations. You can almost see the mother singing to the child in the cradle songs
of angels and fairies. Theresa introduces the first verse, is joined by Susan on the descant, then Madeleine
carries on the melody joined by Susan on the descant to complete it. After the instrumental
interlude, Theresa sings the Gaelic verse, and the rest of the women join for the final verses.

Seoithín, seóthúló, the soft shades are creeping,
Seoithín a stóirín, the angels are here.
Seoithín, seóthúló, mo thaisce is sleeping
Marise mo chuisle while mother is here,
Hush, o, my treasure is dreaming,
Lu, lo, sleep until day,
Lu lo, smiles now are beaming,
Seotho, sorrows away.
Seoithín, seóthúló, in your white cradle lying,
God grant you a leanbh, your night’s sweet repose,
Seoithín, seóthúló, as the daylight is dying,
Is codail go ciúin where the fairy stream flows.

Seoithín, seóthúló = hush my little one
Stóirîn = dearest
Mo thaisce = my treasure
Mo chuisle = my darling
Leanbh = baby, child
Codail go ciuin = sleep until quiet/tranquility

6. Ye Banks and Braes

Music: Scottish traditional
Lyrics: Robert Burns (1759–1796)
Arrangement: Shira Kammen
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine, Shira, Susan, Theresa, Tom
Harp: Diana Irish Low Whistle: Kevin
This traditional Scottish tune with lyrics by Robert Burns speaks of the sadness of love lost, the
singer reminded by every bird of what once was, that is now gone. “Rose” and “woodbine” were
often symbols of the male and female, adding additional meaning to the section where they “twine,”
and the subsequent false lover and lost rose. Shira’s arrangement draws the listener into this sad and
poignant tale.

Ye banks and braes of bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom so fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds
And I sae weary, full of care.
Thou’ll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons through the flowery thorn,
Thou mind’st me of departed joys,
Departed, never to return.
Oft have I rov’d by bonnie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine;
And ilk a bird sang of its love,
And fondly sae did I of mine.
Wi’ lichtsome heart, I pulled a rose,
Full sweet upon its thorny tree,
And my false lover stole my rose,
But Ah, he left the thorn with me.

7. La Tierche Estampie Royale

Music: Anonymous French 13th century
Vielle: Shira
There is very little instrumental music left to us from the early Middle Ages, and what exists is
primarily in the estampie form, based on repeated sections with open and closed endings. None of
those existing manuscripts specify what instruments should play, or how any given melody would
be accompanied, if at all. In many editions the rhythms are interpreted differently. Here Shira plays
the third estampie from manuscript number 844, now in the Bibliothèque national de France.

8. Venus’ Birds

Music and Lyrics: John Bennet (1575-1614)
Singer: Theresa*
Harp: Diana Piano: Charlie: Vielle: Shira
John Bennet composed songs and consort music during the Elizabethan era, and his style emulated
that of his popular contemporaries, John Dowland and Thomas Morley. This haunting song
contrasts the songs of the birds to the singer’s sadness.

Venus’ birds, whose mournful tunes
Sing lullaby, lulula lullaby to my unrest,
For so partaking of my wrongs,
In my bosom build your nest.
Lulla, lulla, lulla
Lulla, lulla, lulla,
Lulla, lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lulla,
Lulla, lullaby
Love live loyal or I die,
Love live loyal or I die.

9. Lullay My Liking

Music: Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Lyrics: from A Mediaeval Anthology, edited by Mary Segar
New lyrics: Jenny Jackson-Paton
Singers: Dave*, Elizabeth*, Helen, Jenny*, Linda*, Madeleine*, Shira, Susan*, Theresa, Tom*
Gustav Holst wrote this piece in 1916, and incorporated folk songs and “early music” in modal style
for these and other carols. He traveled the English countryside with friend Ralph Vaughan Williams,
who shared his interest in collecting old folk songs. “Lullay My Liking” is popular in the choral repertoire,
for a cappella women or mixed voices, especially for winter performances. Linda takes the first
solo verse, followed by Dave on the next and Madeleine on the third. Elizabeth leads the fourth solo
verse, joined by Tom, then Susan and Dave and Jenny, and Elizabeth and Jenny duet on the final
verse. Jenny wrote some new lyrics that bring the piece a universal tone.

Lullay my liking,
My dear son, my sweeting;
Lullay my dear Heart,
Mine own dear darling
I saw a fair maiden
Sitten and sing:
She lulled a little child,
A sweete lording.
Lullay my liking...
She sang to the baby
Her joy at his birth,
Of alle the creatures
You are the dearest one on Earth.
Lullay my liking...
At the childes birth:
Though the songsters were heavenly
They made a mickle mirth.
Lullay my liking...
Songbirds bright they sang that night
And saiden to that child,
“Sweet be thou and so be she
That is so meek and mild.”
Lullay my liking...
Sing we now to that child,
As to his Mother dear,
And grant them all sweet blessing
That now maken cheer.
Lullay my liking...

Mickle = much

10. Numi, Numi Yaldati/Durme, Durme

Music: Joel Engel (1868-1927) (“Numi, Numi”)
Music: Traditional Sephardic (“Durme, Durme”)
Lyrics: Yechiel Halperin (“Numi, Numi”)
Lyrics: Ladino (“Durme, Durme”)
Arrangement: Shira Kammen
Hebrew translation and coach: Merav Menachem
Singers: Dave*, Tom* on Numi, Shira* on Durme
Harp: Diana Piano: Charlie
“Numi, Numi Yaldati” was written by Joel Engel, a prominent Russian musician and writer who
became active as an arranger and presenter of Jewish folk songs, with lyrics by Yecheil Halperin.
Shira’s arrangement for two men’s voices is sung to a daughter, and tells of the father going away
to work while she sleeps, promising various presents upon his return. You could imagine it being
sung by a mother when the father is away, or by a father about to leave. Tom and Dave take turns
weaving together the melody and the harmony parts Shira crafted for them. In the midst of this
song, Shira sings the poignant “Durme, Durme,” a lullaby to a little son, expressing hopes for a good
future. She sings it in Ladino, a Sephardic language written in Hebrew and based on Spanish at the
time the Jews were expelled from Spain, used throughout the Mediterranean for hundreds of years.
Charlie improvised the rhythmic piano part during the recording session.

Numi, numi yaldati,
Numi, numi, nim.
Numi, numi k’tanati,
Numi, numi, nim.
Aba halach la’avoda -
Halach, halach Aba.
Yashuv eim tzeit hal’vana -
Yavi lach matana!
Numi, numi...
Aba halach el hakramim -
Halach, halach Aba.
Yashuv eim tzeit hacochavim -
Yavi lach anavim!
Numi, numi...
Durme, durme, hermozo hijico,
Durme, durme, con savor.
Cerra tus luzios ojicos,
Durme con savor.
A la scola tu te irás,
Y la ley t’ambezarás.
Durme, durme …
Numi, numi...
Aba halach el hapardes -
Halach, halach Aba.
Yashuv ba’erev eim haruach -
Yavi, yavi tapuach!
Numi, numi...
Aba halach el hasadeh -
Halach, halach Aba.
Yashuv ba’erev eim tz’lalim -
Yavi lach shibolim!
Numi, numi...

Sleep, sleep, my little girl.
Sleep, sleep.
Sleep, sleep, my little one,
Sleep, sleep.
Daddy’s gone to work -
He went, Daddy went.
He’ll return when the moon comes out -
He’ll bring you a present!
Sleep, sleep...
Daddy went to the vineyards -
He went, Daddy went.
He’ll return when the stars come out -
He’ll bring you grapes!
Sleep, sleep...
Sleep, sleep, beautiful son,
Sleep, sleep with pleasure.
Close your shining eyes,
Sleep, sleep with pleasure.
You will go to school
And study the law.
Sleep, sleep …
Sleep, sleep...
Daddy went to the orchard -
He went, Daddy went.
He’ll return in the evening with the wind -
He’ll bring an apple!
Sleep, sleep...
Daddy went to the field
He went, Daddy went.
He’ll come back in the evening.
He’ll bring you ears of grain!
Sleep, sleep...

11. À la Claire Fontaine/Crooked Waltz

Music and Lyrics: French traditional (À la Claire Fontaine)
Music: Traditional (Crooked Waltz)
Arrangement: Tom Pixton (À la Claire Fontaine)
French translation and coach: Madeleine Nelson
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine, Susan, Theresa, Tom
Fiddle: Shira Piano: Charlie
Most French schoolchildren learn this traditional song when they are young, though it speaks of lost
love and longing. The poignant refrain of “I will never forget you” may express the feelings of a lover
or a parent toward a child. The piece is followed by the “Crooked Waltz,” a traditional French piece
in an uneven, 5/4 meter. Continuing the passing on of music by oral tradition, Shira learned this
piece at a folk music camp in the California Redwoods, but with no information about where it came
from. If you know, please contact Shira through her website.

À la Claire Fontaine
M’en allant promener;
J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle
Que je m’y suis baigné.
Il y a longtemps que je t’aime,
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Sous les feuilles d’un chêne
Je me suis fait sécher;
Sur la plus haute branche
Le rossignol chantait.
Il y a longtemps que je t’aime,
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Chante, rossignol, chante,
Toi qui as le coeur gai;
Tu as la coeur à rire,
Moi je l’ai z’à pleurer.
Il y a longtemps que je t’aime,
Jamais je ne t’oublierai.

At the clear fountain,
while taking a walk
I found the water so beautiful
that I bathed in it.
I have loved you for a long time,
I’ll never forget you.
Under the leaves of an oak tree
I lay down to dry.
On the topmost branch
A nightingale was singing.
I have loved you for a long time,
I’ll never forget you.
Sing, o nightingale, sing,
You whose heart is merry,
your heart wants to laugh,
mine wants to cry.
I have loved you for a long time,
I’ll never forget you.

12. Wexford Lullaby

Music: based on the traditional English Wexford Carol
Lyrics: John Renbourn (1944–present)
Used with permission of: Alan Whaley, Pentangle Limited for John Renbourn
Arrangement: Shira Kammen
Singers: Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine*, Shira, Susan, Theresa*
To the traditional Wexford Carol, John Renbourn added powerful and moving new lyrics, and
Shira’s lyrical choral arrangement of the piece was written for the California Revels 2007 show celebrating rustic, 19th-century England. Beginning with Theresa’s solo, the lyrics express the
thoughts of the mother, as she anticipates the departure, someday, of the child held in her arms.
Madeleine, singing of life’s journey ahead, joins Theresa. Then all the women join together for three
glorious verses of Shira’s beautifully-arranged close harmonies. The lyrics tell of a natural world full
of wonders, the strength of conviction, the challenges and sadness inevitable in life, the dreams that
run through a parent’s mind. The song explores those journeys ahead for this child, while remembering
the intimate connections of motherhood: “blood of my blood, bone of my bone,” and “heart
of my heart, soul of my soul,” take the song to the end of life, and then circle back to the moment
of holding that child at your breast. For many of us onstage for the 2007 performance who are
mothers, the lyrics speak to the hopes and fears you have for your child, holding them close when
they are young yet knowing that someday you must let them go. It was for Theresa a real honor to
perform the duet onstage with her daughter, Madeleine, during her senior year of high school, just
before she went off to college.

Lullay, lullay, my tiny child,
Too soon you’ll know the world so wild,
Yes all too soon, you will be grown,
And I’ll bide here, alone, alone.
The rushing billows you shall ride,
And the light of the North Star will be your guide,
But yet awhile, I’ll have you stay,
Lullay my sweet one, my child lullay.
For you shall run in meadows green,
And sport with otters all in the stream,
And you shall chase the dappled deer,
And swim with salmon in waters clear.
To pluck the small birds from the sky,
On the tail of the South Wind you shall fly,
And take the high hills for your home,
Blood of my blood, bone of my bone.
The moon must sleep beyond the tree,
So weep sweet maid of Galilee,
The sun must rise before the cross,
To dry your tears and share your loss.
The darkest hour of the starless night
Must bow to the power of the Eastern light,
That heals the Earth and makes us whole,
Heart of my heart, soul of my soul.
And when at last your course is run,
Joy of my joy, my little one,
Beneath the sky you’ll stand alone,
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
Yes, you shall stand on the coal black sands,
Waters of Western Lands,
But now I have you at my breast,
Lullay my sweet one, gently rest.

13. ‘S Umbó Aerá

Music and Lyrics: Irish traditional
Translation used with permission of: Shayne White for the estate of Deborah L. White, and the California Revels for the CD Christmas in an Irish Castle
Gaelic translations: Deborah L. White
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine, Theresa, Tom
Harp: Diana Irish Whistle: Kevin
This simple, lovely piece was recorded by the chorus of California Revels in 2001, in Christmas in
an Irish Castle, available through The late Deborah White brought us this piece,
whose lyrics speak of awaiting a love to come. After an instrumental interlude, the women sing the
piece, joined after the next interlude by the men.

‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá
Gabh siar is gabh aniar
Is faigh domsa céile
‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá.
[Go west and return
And find me a spouse/husband.]
‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá
Ó shiúil mé an choill
Le héiri na gréine
‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá.
[I walked in the woods
With the rising of the sun.]
‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá
Ó seo é mo stór
Ag teacht thar an tsléibh
‘S umbó aerá ó uileabó aerá.
[Here is my love
Coming over the mountain.]

14. Dark Island

Music: Scot Iain MacLachlan (1927-1995)
Arrangement: Charlie, Kevin, Shira
Fiddle: Shira Irish Low Whistle: Kevin Piano: Charlie
This well-known and often-recorded Hebrides air was originally called “Dr Mackay’s Farewell to
Creagorry,” composed by Iain McLachlan in the 20th century. There are several sets of words to the
tune, but we present it here as a straight-ahead waltz.

15. Tàladh Chriosta/Manx Lullaby

Music and Lyrics: Traditional from the Outer Hebrides (Tàladh Chriosta) and the Isle of Man (Manx Lullaby)
Translation used with permission of: Shayne White for the estate of Deborah L. White, and the California Revels for the CD Christmas in an Irish Castle
Arrangement: Shira Kammen with Theresa Nelson
Singers: Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine*, Theresa*
Harp: Diana Piano: Charlie
The California Revels created a Celtic show in 2001, in which Artistic Director David Parr wove
these two pieces into a lovely lullaby scene where the Irish women were putting their children to
sleep for the night, as they awaited their storm-delayed trip to the New World. Tàladh Chriosta,
the Christ Child’s Lullaby is from the Outer Hebrides west of Scotland, collected by Marjory
Kennedy-Fraser, and is usually sung on Christmas Eve. The Manx Lullaby is a traditional song from
the Isle of Man, near Great Britain. Madeleine introduces the first verse, joined by Theresa, then
Theresa continues in Gaelic. The women sing the next verse and reprise “o hush thee my dove”
in unison, then sing the final verse, followed by a lush two-part version of “o hush thee my dove.”

Oh hush thee my dove, oh hush thee my rowan,
Oh hush thee my lapwing, my little brown bird.
Oh fold thy wing and seek thy nest now,
Oh shine the berry on the bright tree.
The bird is home from the mountain and valley.
Oh, horo hi-ri-ri cadul gu lo.
Mo ghaol, mo ghràdh is m’eudail Thu!
M’ ionntas ùr is m’èibhneas Thu!
Mo mhacan àlainn, ceutach Thu!
Cha’n fhiù mi fhéin a bhith ad dhàil.
Oh hush thee my dove …
My love, my pride, my treasure oh,
My wonder new and pleasure oh,
My one, my beauty ever you,
Who am I to bear you here?
Oh hush thee my dove …
O dear, the eye that softly looks,
O dear the heart that fondly loves,
Thou but a tender babe thou art,
The graces all grow up with thee.
Oh hush thee my dove …

Oh, horo hi-ri-ri cadul gu lo = O hush thee my birdie, my pretty dearie

16. Lullay Lullow (Lullay I Saw A Swete Semly Syght)

Music and Lyrics: 15th-century English medieval, from a manuscript in the British Library
Singers: Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Madeleine, Susan, Theresa
This gorgeous piece was written to celebrate Mary and the nativity story, as were so many lullabies.
The two parts in the same vocal range intertwine throughout the piece, and the moments when the
parts come together in unisons and octaves are especially lovely. The lyrics are in Middle English,
which looks similar to modern English on the page, but some pronunciations sound quite different.

Lullay, lullow, lully lullay,
Bewy, bewy, lully, bewy,
Lully, lullow, lully, lullay.
Baw, baw, my bairne,
Slepe softly now.
I saw a swete and semly syght,
A blisful bird,
A blossom bright,
That murning made and mirth among.
A Maiden moder mek and myld,
In cradle kep,
A knave child,
That softly slept, she sat and sange.
Lullay, lullow, lully lullay.
Bewy, bewy, Lully, bewy.
Lully, lullow, lully, lullay.
Baw, baw, my bairne,
Slepe softly now.

Bewy = a lullaby sound
Baw, baw my bairne = lullaby sound, my child
Slepe = sleep
Swete = sweet
Semly = seemly
Syght = sight
Murning = morning
Moder = mother
Mek and myld = meek and mild
Kep = keep
Knave child = young boy child

17. The Traveller’s Prayer

Music and lyrics: John Renbourn (1944-present)
Used with permission of: Alan Whaley, Pentangle Limited for John Renbourn
Arrangement: John Renbourn
Singers: Helen*, Madeleine*, Tom*, Dave*
This powerful and moving song by John Renbourn is based on a prayer called “The New Moon,”
a collection of Celtic songs by Alexander Carmichael. It was performed at the California Revels
2001 Celtic show. In literature, the Moon is almost always feminine, and in Catholicism, often has
an explicit link to Mary. The travellers’ journey it describes, through a natural world that seems filled
with challenges, is resolved as their prayers are answered. The solo quartet of Helen, Madeleine,
Tom and Dave are well-matched vocally for this piece, which builds on their beautiful blend to allow
the haunting lyrics to shine through.

Praise to the Moon, bright queen of the skies,
Jewel of the black night, the light of our eyes,
Brighter than starlight, whiter than snow,
Look down on us in the darkness below.
If well you should find us then well let us stay,
Be it seven times better when you make your way,
Be it seven times better when we greet the dawn,
So light up our way and keep us from all harm.
Give strength to the weary, give alms to the poor,
To the tainted and needy five senses restore,
Give song to our voices, give sight to our eyes,
To see the sun bow as the new moon shall rise.
Cast your eyes downward to our dwelling place,
Three times for favour and three times for grace,
Over the dark clouds your face for to see,
To banish misfortune and keep Trinity.

18. Goodnight and Joy

Music: Traditional arranged by Dougie MacLean (1954-present)
Lyrics: James Hogg (1770–1835)
Published by and used with permission of: Limetree Arts and Music (PRS & MCPS UK)
Arrangement: Shira Kammen four-part vocal arrangement based on Dougie MacLean’s music
Singers: Dave, Elizabeth, Helen, Jenny, Linda, Madeleine, Shira, Susan, Theresa, Tom
Fiddle: Shira Irish Whistle: Kevin Piano: Charlie
Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland’s most well-known and successful musicians who performs
and tours with his own groups and others. His music is featured on radio, television, in films, and in
festivals around the world; for more of his music, see The lyrics for this
haunting melody are by James Hogg of Scotland, the son of a shepherd, who was inspired to write
poetry by Robert Burns, and gained fame for his own work. Shira’s arrangement weaves the nature
imagery and personal journey of the lyrics into a farewell whose yearning sounds tumble over each
other at the close.

The year is wearin’ tae the wane,
And day is fading West awa’,
Out raves the torrent and the rain,
And dark the cloud comes down the shaw.
Let the tempest taut and blaw
Upon his loudes winter horn,
Goodnight and joy be with you all,
We’ll maybe meet again the morn.
We hae wandered far and wide
O’er Scotland’s hills o’er firth and fell,
Many a simple flower we’ve culled
And trimmed them wi’ the heather bell.
We’ve ranged the dingle and the dell,
The hamlet and the baron’s hall,
Now let us take a kind farewell,
Goodnight and joy be with you all.
Though I was wayward, you were kind,
And sorrowed when I went astray,
For o my strains were often wild
As winds upon a winter day.
The far I led you from the way,
Fergie a minstrel since for all,
A tear fas’ wi’ his parting lay,
Goodnight and joy be with you all. Goodnight and joy…

Wane = the end, fading
Awa’ = away
Shaw = small woods
Firth and fell = inlet and hill
Dingle and the dell = small wooded valley and glade
Fergie = forget
Fas’ = fast