Sleep, Holy Child
Composer Thomas Pavlechko
Text Ruth Duck
Voicing SATB, organ
Length 2' 20" Price $1.50 (U.S.) Released 7/99
Catalog no. 405-274 Difficulty Moderately easy
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"The American hymnist Ruth Duck provides the thought-provoking text of Pavlechko's next entry in this month's slate, Sleep, Holy Child. This relatively easy four-part lullaby is based on Pavlechko's own hymn tune, DEWAYNE, and is elegantly distributed among the voice-parts. Three stanzas of text unfold over a soft, motivically tight organ accompaniment." --AAM Journal, October 2006
A tender Christmas lullaby with a Ruth Duck text which, while both acknowledging and foreshadowing the evil which was to pursue Jesus throughout his earthly life, still affirms God's ultimate triumph through Christ. The addition of an independent second soprano part on the work's final page adds extra richness to the work's already warm sonorities.
Sleep, holy child,
now hid away from human heartbreak, hate and strife.
What will you know of peaceful days
when even now they stalk your life?
Rest, Lamb of God,
for comes the day when earth will judge you, strike you, scorn.
Sleep soundly now
as Mary smiles and holds you in her arms new born.
Shine fragile life
this starry night, in sleep, unknowing, sigh, and nod,
for none on earth can overcome
the light in you that comes from God.
Text © G.I.A. Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.