Music: 16th C. anon. arr. Douglas Cook. Words: Anon. (16th century)
SATB with S and T soli
performance time approx 3m 40s
Range S: b♭ – f'' (c' — f'' solo) / A: g – c'' / T: f – f' (c — f' solo) / B: F – d'
Price code: C
Complexity: ***

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Hear a synthesized realisation
Baloo and balulalow are old Scottish words for lullaby, and this song is a lullaby to the Christ child. The text is a translation, probably by one of the Wedderburn family of Aberdeen, of Martin Luther's hymn for children Vom Himmel hoch. The tune also is from 16th c. Scotland.

Douglas Cook's flowing arrangement features some chromatic harmonies and calls to mind the English cathedral style. The choir and soloists share the text, each moving by turns in and out of the foreground.

Composer's note: The dahs at the end of v 1 should not be too explosive - the idea is just to give the accompaniment some rhythmic definition.

Glossary and pronunciation guide included.


I come from hevin heich to tell
The best nowells that e'er befell.
To you thir thythings trew I bring
And I will of them say and sing:
This day to you is born ane child
Of Marie meik and Virgin mild.
That blissit bairn bening and kind
Sall you rejoyce baith hart and mind.

Lat us rejoyis and be blyth
And with the Hyrdis go full swyth
And see what God of his grace hes done
Throu Christ to bring us to his throne.
My saull and life stand up and see
Wha lyis in ane cribbe of tree.
What Babe is that, sa gude and fair?
It is Christ, God's Son and Air.

O my deir hart, yung Jesus sweit,
Prepair thy creddill in my spreit!
And I sall rock thee in my hart
And never mair fra thee depart.
Bot I sall praise thee evermoir
With sangis sweit unto thy gloir.
The kneis of my hart sall I bow
And sing that rycht Balulalow.

16th century Scottish

Both words and tune are published in Musica Britannica Volume XV, published by Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England.

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