Monday, June 7, 2010

A Little Night Music, Part II

Similar to Der Mond Ist Aufgegangen, the two selections in the next video fall under the heading of German folk songs or Volklied.

The first hymn, does not fit any tune in Lutheran Service Book or the Lutheran Hymnal. You would have to use, say, "Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain" or "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty" and repeat the last to musical phrases to make it work. These tunes are not quite suited for an evening song.

Another option would be to sing LSB 428, "Cross of Jesus" with its meter 87.87. followed immediately by LSB 468, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" with its meter 77.77.

The use of two tunes with one text isn't uncommon in German hymnody, but these particular tunes are not in the same style and were not ever meant to be put together.

Here is the text in German, followed by a word-for-word translation.


Weisst du, wieviel Sternlein stehen
an dem blauen Himmelszelt?
Weißt du, wieviel Wolken gehen
weit hinueber alle Welt?
Gott, der Herr, hat sie gezaehlet,
dass ihm auch nicht eines fehlet
an der ganzen grossen Zahl,
an der ganzen grossen Zahl,


Do you know how many stars are standing
in the blue sky?
Do you know how many clouds go
far across the world?
God, the Lord has number them,
that in Him also not one lacks
of the entire big number,
of the entire big number.


Where the first folk song is metered, the second folk song is metered Again, there is no tune in TLH or LSB that can be used. Now, I wouldn't recommend it, but you could sing the tune for LSB 486, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" followed by LSB 428, "Cross of Jesus." Ugh! Don't do it! Perhaps you or another musician can transcribe this beautiful tune instead. I personally would love to learn this one!

Please note this particular song has at it's center the moon and not Jesus, so perhaps the discussion on tunes is futile if we are talking about the Divine Service or perhaps Evening Prayer.


Guter Mond, du gehst so stille
durch die Abendwolken hin.
Deines Schoepfers weiser Wille
hiess auf jene Bahn dich zieh'n.
Leuchte freundlich jedem Mueden
in das stille Kaemmerlein
und dein Schimmer giesse Frieden
ins bedraengte Herz hinein!


Dearest Moon, you go so quietly
through the evening clouds.
The will of your Creator
takes you on the path.
Friendly light of every tired one
be in that quiet little chamber
and pour your light of peace
into the troubled heart.