Sleep My Child is a piece from my work for music theater Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. In the show it appears midway through Act II and is performed by three angels – two sopranos and a mezzo. For years the American choir Chanticleer and I have been looking for something on which we could collaborate, and an arrangement of Sleep My Child was the project we finally settled upon. Chanticleer is an all-male group (12 men), but they insisted that I write it ‘pure SATB’. The purity of tone that the ensemble (and especially those legendary male sopranos) brought to the music matched perfectly with the delicate, ethereal sounds I had in my head. What a thrill it has been to write for them; I can only hope it will be the first of many collaborations.
Sleep My Child
When you dream of Paradise, and the paradise it brings, Remember: O, your heart is full of wings. Remember to listen for the lark, and sleep. You’ll awaken tomorrow and spread your wings, And you’ll grow, come to know all the shadows and joy that it brings, When your heart aches, my heart aches and this is the song it sings: Ah! Ah! In your dreams you’re not alone, Though mother’s child has flown, And if the night that follows should be dark Just listen for the lark, and sleep my child. I can see in your eyes that the day is long, And the pain and the rain and the wind make you feel that you’re wrong, Out of sorrow tomorrow will bring you a brighter song: Ah! Ah! In your dreams you’re not alone, Though mother’s child has flown, And if the night that follows should be dark Just listen for the lark, and sleep my child. Sleep my child. Sleep my child And dream. David Norona & Eric Whitacre