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WorksChoral MusicBurt Family Carol SeriesSong of the Pines

Song of the Pines

Voicing: SATB a cappella
Text: Abbie Betinis
Duration: 3:30 min.
Premiere: The MPR Carolers, Minnesota Public Radio - December 22, 2005
See the score: PREVIEW THE SCORE (pdf)
Published by: Abbie Betinis Music Co., AB-041-C5.2
Order now: Online order form
Available in: Print or Digital Edition

 REVIEWS (Click to view/hide)
"haunting and beautiful"
- Therese Walsh, Press & Sun Bulletin (Binghamton, NY), Nov 25, 2009

With a quartet: Song of the Pines (mp3, 4:14, 2.5 MB)
Performed by "The MPR Carolers" (Melissa Morey, Abbie Betinis, Justin Karch, Michael Meyer)

With a chorus:
Performed by Utah Chamber Artists (Barlow Bradford, conductor)

My Christmas carols are written as a continuation of a family tradition. In 1922, my great-grandfather, Bates Burt, began writing original carols and sending them annually to friends and family in his Christmas cards. His son, Alfred Burt, carried on the tradition, writing 15 now famous carols which include “Caroling, Caroling,” “Some Children See Him,” and “This is Christmas.” In 2001, when I re-started this family tradition, it caught the eye of Minnesota Public Radio who now donates recording space and airtime to my carols annually, in the form of a broadcast premiere and interview. I collect a few other singers and we have a great time chatting with the MPR hosts and singing into nice microphones.

The inspiration for this fifth annual Burt family carol, Song of the Pines, came this year from my mother, Emily Burt Betinis, a visual artist who designs our annual card. This year she came up with the design while I was still searching for a text for the carol. For the card, she has placed a simple pinecone image on white and silver paper mounted on dappled lightblue cardstock. The theme is most appropriate: The shores of Lake Superior, where Bates Burt built is home and raised his family, are covered with pine groves, and I myself have many childhood memories of walking alone among the trees during Christmas, while visiting my grandparents.

More information on the Burt Family Carols here.
- Abbie Betinis

Song of the Pines Poem by Abbie Betinis
Night, and the world asleep,
All the silver pines are still,
Here the moonlit earth lies bleak and chill,
      Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Now, a celestial song
Shiv’ring down from lofty cones,
Drops bough by bending bough in whispered tones:
      Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Blow! You great Northwind,
Carry this song of long ago,
And on your way redeem us all in snow,
      Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Lo! How immortal hymns
Fall from the lips of wakened souls,
Hail! Arise and greet the babe the choir extols,
      Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Night, and the world asleep,
But for the song of the snowy pine,
O! Yet here is God's own evidence divine,
      Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born.

Text and music © 2005 by Abbie Burt Betinis. For permission to reprint this text, please contact the author.

This piece was first published under catalog number AB-041-C5. If you purchased these scores before the most current version (AB-041-C5.2), please contact Abbie Betinis Music Co. for details on the corrections made to the older score, and a discount on replacement scores.

You can find your catalog number in the upper right corner of your score.

Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church (Lila Farrar)
Camerata Nova (Ross Brownlee) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
Camrose Camerata (Joy-Anne Murphy)
Choir of King's Chapel (Heinrich Christensen) - Boston, Massachusetts
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church West (Ruben Piirainen) - Brookfield, Wisconsin
First Unitarian Church of Duluth (Karen Bauman)
First Unitarian Universalist Church (Jason Shelton)
Hobart and William Smith College Choirs (Robert Cowles) - Geneva, New York
MACxima (Keith Brown) - Ohio
Michigan Tech Chamber Choir (Jared Anderson) - Houghton, Michigan
Minnetonka Choral Society (Jere Lantz) - Deephaven, Minnesota
MPR Carolers - Saint Paul, Minnesota
St. Martin's Chamber Choir - Denver, Colorado
Sunday Night Singers - Lancaster, California
Syracuse Vocal Ensemble (Robert Cowles) - Dewitt, New York
Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network National Conference (Kela Wanyama) - St. Paul, MN
Utah Chamber Artists (Dr. Barlow Bradford) - Salt Lake City, Utah
Voces Novae et Antiquae (Robert Ross) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Walden Hill Vocal Ensemble (Joe Mish) - Rochester, Minnesota

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