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This is an arrangement of a very rare and utterly lovely Polish Christmas carol. I sang it as a boy, but have never heard it since; nor can I find a recording of it. The words and melody were, however, preserved in Michael Mioduszewski’s collection Pastorali i Kolendy (Krakow, 1843). I have translated the original text as accurately as possible while still maintaining a rhyme scheme that reflects that of the original. The carol is unusual in offering criticism of Joseph for failing to provide any clothing for the expected baby, and like many Polish carols it contains some wonderfully homely perceptions - the manger is of stone and not the more comforting wood; it is covered in spiders’ webs, the new-born baby is naked, etc. My setting attempts, in its progress from discord to concord, to mime the movement of the narrative from winter chill through to relative warmth. I very much hope that this arrangement and translation will enable this lovely gentle folk carol to become better known.
Reviews of Polish carol: Lezy, lezy Jezus malusienki (Tiny Jesus is a-lying) SATB choir a cappella. In English.
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