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WorksChoral MusicMixed ChorusIn This Tyme of Chrystmas

In This Tyme of Chrystmas
(formerly "Quid Petis O Fili")

Voicing: SSS semi-chorus and SATBB a cappella
Text: Collected from Elizabethan Christmas carols
Duration: 5 min.
Premiere: The Rose Ensemble on tour in Chicago, IL - December 15, 2006
See the score: PREVIEW THE SCORE (pdf)
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-046-00
Order now: Online order form


In This Tyme of Chrystmas: mp3, 5:08, 4.8 MB
Performed live by The Rose Ensemble. Jordan Sramek, artistic director.


". . .the 14 voices of the Rose Ensemble. . . paid profound respect to each composer represented. [Abbie Betinis's] "Quid petis O Fili" is written in a style consistent with that of the Elizabethan songs around it, and it proved a liltingly sweet slice of parenthood, superbly sung by the group. Historically educational yet soaked with spirit, the concert felt as if something magical had been preserved in amber in the 16th century, then uncovered to be enjoyed by a modern audience.

- Rob Hubbard, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Dec 2006

In This Tyme of Chrystmas
(Text has been modernized.)

In this time of Christmas,
Betwixt an ox and ass,
A maiden delivered was
      Of Christ, her dear Son dear.

Husband of Mary
Sweet Joseph stood her by,
And said he was ready
      To serve her if need were.

When she her dear Son see,
She set Him on her knee,
And sang, "Hither to me,
      Come kiss Thy mother dear."

    "Quid petis, O Fili?"
        Mater dulcissima ba ba...       
    "Quid petis, O Fili?
        Michi plausus oscula da da!"

    "What seekest Thou, O my Son?"
        The sweetest mother kisses...
    "What seekest Thou, O my Son?
        Clapping hands, give me kisses!"

On her lap she Him laid,
And with her pap He played,
And ever sang the maid:
      "Come kiss Thy mother dear."

With lips culling His,
His mouth oft she did kiss,
And sang, "Sweetheart mine..."
      I pray You, make good cheer."

"Quid petis, O Fili?" [etc]

To this Child let us pray,
That born was on this day,
Of Mary, the mild may,
      To grant us all good cheer,
      And love through all our year!

"Quid petis, O Fili?" [etc]

Verse from Christmasse Carolles (Wynkyn de Worde, 1521). Refrain from the time of Henry VII or VIII. Collected in Ancient English Christmas Carols (Chatto & Windus, 1914). Both poems, to the best of my knowledge, are in the public domain and may be reprinted from this website for use in concert programs and for promotional use as related to this musical work.

Performed by:

The Rose Ensemble (Jordan Sramek, artistic director)
The Oriana Consort (Walter Chapin, director)

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