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WorksBurt Family Carol SeriesSing Him to Sleep

(Don't let us) Sing Him to Sleep       * NEW! *
for SATB & Hand drum

Music: Abbie Betinis (2016)
Lyrics: Abbie Betinis (2016)
Duration: 2:30 min.
Premiere: Minnesota Public Radio - aired Dec. 19, 2016
Premiered by: The MPR Carolers
For: Christmas card designed by Emily Burt Betinis (Abbie's mom)
Published by: currently in manuscript, AB-100-C16

  LISTEN TO ABBIE'S INTERVIEW (Click to view/hide)

[0:00] Interview on the Burt Family Carol tradition
[2:50] All on a Christmas Morning (by Alfred Burt)
[5:27] Interview with Abbie on Sing Him to Sleep
[9:06] Sing Him to Sleep (by Abbie Burt Betinis)
Performed by: The MPR Carolers, and featured on Classical Minnesota Public Radio

  WATCH (Click to view/hide)

Performed by: Carrie Henneman Shaw, Laura Betinis Healy (Abbie's sister), Nicholas Chalmers, Timothy C. Takach, and percussionist Tim O'Keefe

  LYRICS (Click to view/hide)
Sing Him to Sleep Lyrics by Abbie Betinis (2016)
What’s in this Baby’s cry?
    Only the crying of nations.
What’s in this Baby’s birth?
    Only our own.
How shall the earth reply?
    Praise and adulation.
How shall we make Him known?
    Sing Him to sleep.

    Lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay,
    Close your eyes.
    Lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay,

    ...and still He cries.

“Don’t make a sound, my Babe,
    Hush, O hush my dear one!”
Yet from the hay He cries:
    “Wake, awake!
        Make room for the lost, the
        weary unwashed, the
            hungry and sick; they
            know me well!
        Bring in the sore ones, and
        Bring in the poor ones!”
    There’s not enough incense to
    sweeten the smell.


Oh how we love to sing:
    “Rock-a-bye my Baby!”
While in our arms He warns:
    “Wake, awake!
        Beware of the gold-eyed,
        hollow and cold-eyed!
            Watch for the thief with
            silver tongue!”
    Still in our bliss, we just
    Blow Him a kiss.
        Now we can sing Him,
        Sing Him to sleep.


We will not hear His cries,
    Even in crying of nations,
If He so humble lies,
    Mild and meek.
Shake off our dust, rise up!
    Rise up O civilizations!
Don’t let us sing Him...

    Lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay, lullay...

        ...sing Him to sleep.

Lyrics © Abbie Betinis 2016. These lyrics are under copyright, but may be reprinted from this website for uses related specifically to this musical work.

  PROGRAM NOTE (Click to view/hide)
In 1922, Rev. Bates G. Burt (Abbie's great-grandfather) began writing an original Christmas carol each year and sending it as a greeting card to his friends and family. In 1942, he passed the tradition to his son, Alfred Burt, a jazz trumpeter and young composer, who went on to write a total of fifteen Christmas carols, including the popular Caroling, Caroling and Some Children See Him, now sung and recorded by artists all over the world. Since 2001, Abbie has continued this family tradition.

Sing Him to Sleep premiered on Minnesota Public Radio in December 2016 before being sent, as always, as the family Christmas card.

  PERFORMED BY (Click to view/hide)
The MPR Carolers

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