6:00 | Mezzo Soprano, Tenor, and Piano | Request Score

Program Note

Three Lullabies is a three-movement song cycle for Mezzo Soprano, Tenor, and Piano. This suite of lullabies is rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically accessible to children and would fit nicely into any classical concert for children or a younger audience.

 

The first song Nini Baba Nini, from the book The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye, is a sweet Hindi text that describes the happiness of being able to provide food, and thus sleep, for one’s child. The setting of this poem superimposes the English translation against the original Hindi text.

 

The second song Villanelle of Sunset is a text by Ernest Dowson. A villanelle is traditionally a nineteen-line poem containing only two rhymes, “rest” and “day” in this villanelle. The melody and accompaniment are reminiscent of an American folk tune to reflect the strong imagery of the West in the text.

 

The third song In the Morning sets the text written by Amy Gordon. The music is simple and gentle in order to lull a child to sleep, despite the difficult conditions in the outside world.

 

 

Text

I. Nini Baba Nini

Nini baba nini,  (Sleep, baby sleep)
Muckan, roti, cheeni, (Butter, bread sugar)
Roti muckan hogya,  (The bread and butter are finished.)
Hamara baba sogya!  (My baby is asleep!)

 

II. Villanelle of Sunset

Come hither, Child! and rest:
This is the end of day,
Behold the weary West!

 

Sleep rounds with equal zest
Man’s toil and children’s play;
Come hither, Child! and rest.

 

My white bird, seek thy nest,
Thy drooping head down lay:
Behold the weary West!

 

Now eve is manifest,
And homeward lies our way:
Behold the weary West!

 

Tired flower I upon my breast,
I would wear thee alway:
Come hither, Child! and rest;
Behold, the weary West!

 

III. In the Morning

Things will be better in the morning.
Sleep now. It’s time to go to bed.
Outside it’s windy and it’s storming.
Oh weary child, won’t you rest your head?

 

There will be hope and there’ll be laughter.
Fairy tales with happy ever afters.
And all the stories you were told will come true
and all you need to do is wait till

 

Things will be better when it’s light out.
Right now, outside it’s dark and grim.
So will you let me turn your light out?
Sleep now and let peace enter in.

 

And we’ll go running on the hillside.
Run so fast that all your tears will have dried.
And all the sadness that you feel will disappear.
There’s nothing you should fear.

 

Just wait till things will be better in the morning.