Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent Music, auf Deutsch!

How about a nice little German lullaby for Advent? And performed by not one, but two outstanding vocal groups - The men of New York Polyphony and the ladies of Anonymous Four.

The music of Josef Lieber, Josef Mein can be traced back to a 14th century German carol (although it may go all the way back to the 12th century), while the words were used in the 16th century mystery plays in Leipzig.

The lyric is sung by Mary and Joseph as they ponder their newborn son, wrapped up in the glory and wonder of this miraculous birth. It is meant as a gentle lullaby, rocking the baby to sleep.

"Joseph, dearest Joseph mine
help me cradle the child divine
God reward thee, and all that's thine
in Paradise" 
So prays the mother Mary.

      He came among us at Christmas time,
      At Christmas time, in Bethlehem
      Men shall bring him far and wide
      love's diadem: Jesus, Jesus
      Lo, he comes, and loves, and saves, and frees us.

Gladly, dear one, lady mine
Help I cradle this child of thine
God's own light on us both shall shine
in Paradise
As prays the mother Mary.

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