(Translator 1: John Wedderburn)
(Translator 2: Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
(Version: William Billings)
This traditional Celtic cradle song which hails from Scotland is translated as “Lullaby, Little Lamb” and was first published as “An Sang of the Birth of Christ”in 1567 by James, Robert And John Wedderburn in their Ane Compendium Buik of Godly and Spirituall Sangis. It has been said that John Wedderburn wrote the first verse himself in the mid-1500s but the author of the others is unknown.
Another translation of it dating from the 1850s by Dante Gabriel Rossetti appears in Cambridge University’s Fitzwilliam Museum. A further version was written by William Billings in the 19th century and has been recorded by the ensemble Music Sacra. In 1928 the 7th and 8th verses were published in the Oxford Book of Carols and entitled “Balulalow”. This was also credited with coming from the Wedderburn’s publication and has been said that it is a translation by John Wedderburn or one of his brothers of “Von Himmel Hoch” by Martin Luther.
Zah Zah 9809 (CD: Celtic Flute Christmas)
Harp/Clarsach – Jennifer Campbell
Bodhran/Uillean Pipes – Steafan Hannigan
Guitars – Donald McPhearson
Accordion – Karen Street
Celtic woodflute/Whistles/String & Percussion arranger – Declan Waggett
Musica Sacra Recordings
D. G. 429 732-2 (CD: Christmas Carols & Motets)
Conductor – Richard Westenburg
Arranger – Norman Luboff
Version composer – William Billings
Here it is performed by the duo Lark and Spur.