Sleep, little Jesus, sleep (Mark Liversidge)

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  • CPDL #31429:     
Editor: Mark Liversidge (submitted 2014-03-07).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 39 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: First performed in January 2013. Slight amendments made and last time repeat added before publication in 2014.

General Information

Title: Sleep, Little Jesus, Sleep
Composer: Mark Liversidge
Lyricist: Mark Liversidge

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredAnthem suitable for Epiphany

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2014

Description: The original inspiration for this piece came from the title, which was the last line of a poem I read at a concert. I had a huge amount of trouble getting my teeth around the phrase and this piece became something of a catharsis! The only overlap in text between the poem and this piece is the title. This was also written as a piece for Ephiphany. Having helped to introduce an Epiphany Carol Service at our church, I was looking for an alternative to the Coventry Carol that covered similar themes. Having not found one, I decided to write one myself.

(The third verse makes a reference to Ramah. This refers to Matthew 2:18, which describes the coming to pass of Jeremiah's prophecy.)

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Sleep, little Jesus, sleep,
The ox and ass their watch shall keep so
Sleep, little Jesus, sleep.
In Bethlehem you came to Earth,
A stable for your humble birth;
Now sleep, little Jesus, sleep.

2. Sleep, little Jesus, sleep
While wise men come from far away to
See, little Jesus, sleep.
The star that guides them on their way
Will show them where their gifts to lay
While you, little Jesus, sleep.

3. Wake, little Jesus, wake,
The angel guides your leave to take,
So Mary and Joseph take
Your son, as Herod soon will kill,
The infants' blood his fear will spill,
And Ramah its lament make.

4. Sleep, little Jesus, sleep,
For now in Egypt safety seek,
The angels a watch will keep.
One day from death in triumph rise,
Your love the world now glorifies;
for now, little Jesus, sleep.