"When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." --Luke 2:17-19 NIV
This is a song about what Mary might have thought while singing her baby boy to sleep a night or two after the visit of the shepherds. The most striking dimension is the emphasis on a mother's conflicting desires to see her child grow up, but also to see her child remain a little baby just a while longer.
This song is written for a mezzo soprano soloist with high tenor (highest note A). It could be incorporated into a Christmas program as a song sung by Mary and Joseph beside the manger, as is it set within the musical play A GIANT INFLATABLE CHRISTMAS. This is the only song that is not a traditional Christmas song that was not written specifically for the musical, but rather had a scene in the musical written around it.
Be still and sleep my Yeshua, my little baby son,
Close your eyes and dream of times when better things will come.
What little can we give you: Life as a carpenter's son,
And in the hills of Galilee, you will learn to run.
What a nurs'ry for Messiah, this stable where we stay!
You've nothing but these well-worn blankets, and this fragrant bed of hay...
The hills were ringing with the song sung by the angel choir,
(Glory in the highest, and on earth his peace!)
Start'ling all the shepherds there, all huddling by the fire.
Then those shepherds came and honor'd you, a most amazing sight,
And I heard the praises on their lips, saw the wonder in their eyes.
(Wonderful! Counselor! Prince of Peace! Mighty God!
Everlasting Father! Messiah!)
But in the quiet of the night, my dearest pride and joy,
Messiah seems so far away, you're just my little boy...
One day you will leave our home to do Jehovah's will,
Wear your crown and purple robe, ascend the holy hill!
Then when it's time to take your throne they all will sing your praise,
And ev'ryone will bow the knee and Lord will be your name!
But in the time I watch you grow, while you still need me near,
Just be my precious little one, the son I love so dear,
Your working time is yet to come: Messiah your birthright,
But in this moment Yeshua,
My dearest precious Yeshua,
Just be my little Yeshua,
For one more silent night.
(Wonderful! Counselor! Messiah! Prince of Peace!)
Parts in the rehearsal score are: mezzo soprano, tenor, SATB chorus, and piano.
Orchestral parts are:
Flute 1 & 2
Clarinet 1 & 2
Trumpet 1 & 2
F Horn 1 & 2
Trombone 1 & 2
Violin 1 & 2
The remainder of the pit orchestra for the show is tacet for this song.
LULLABY FOR THE MESSIAH, by Tom Kirkland, a mezzo soprano solo with tenor, chorus, and orchestra, comes in a pdf file of 673K, with a ten-page practice score, twenty-one page full score, seven two-page parts, one three-page, part, and a license page, forty-nine pages in all. Performance time should be about four minutes.