MTH-V: Trio Mediæval’s “Gjendine’s Lullaby”

Regular readers should be at least passively familiar with Trio Mediæval. I’ve mentioned them in a few posts, as well as writing a “New Listen” on their most recent album, A Worcester Ladymass. Their informed, artful renditions of Medieval, traditional, and contemporary works – both sacred and secular – are irresistible. Couple that with their partnership with ECM, far and away my favorite record label (as also frequently mentioned here), and you have a consistent recipe for success.

This week’s video is of a performance “Gjendine’s Lullaby” from 2007’s Folk Songs, the first album of theirs I purchased. I was hooked upon first listen – enough to acquire all of their albums over the next year. Subtitled “Ballads, Hymns and Lullabies,” the album description is: “Traditional songs from Norway arranged for voices and percussion.” This particular song is an arrangement of a traditional lullaby that was, as mentioned in the liner notes, “written down by Edvard Grieg after Kaia Gjendine Slaalien, Jotunheimen.”

Trio Mediæval:
Anna Maria Friman
Linn Andrea Fuglseth
Torunn Østrem Ossum
w. Birger Mistereggen, percussion

Text (translation by Andrew Smith):
The child is laid in its cradle, sometimes crying, sometimes smiling.
The child is laid in its cradle, sometimes crying, sometimes smiling
Sleep, now sleep in Jesus’ name; Jesus, watch over this child.
Sleep, now sleep in Jesus’ name; Jesus, watch over this child
Mother lifts me to her lap, dances with me to and fro.
Mother lifts me to her lap, dances with me to and fro
Dance then, dance with your children, dance, and your child will dance.
Dance then, dance with your children, dance, and your child will dance.

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