Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas: Commemoration of David

With the release of Lutheran Service Book came new commemorations. Patterned after the Eastern Orthodox, although not celebrated on the same day, Lutherans now commemorate persons from the Old Testament. The Commemoration of David falls on December 29th on the new calendar.

David's Lamentation is an early American composition by William Billings (1746-1800). Billings was self-taught, and some of his music sounds to me like it was written on horseback! That said, Billings had his own style, and I can appreciate that.

The work is about David's reaction to the death of his son Absolem. A PDF file of this song may be found here.


William Billings: David's Lamentation
Camerata ad Libitum Workshop Choir

David the king was grieved and wounded,
he went to his chamber, his chamber and wept.
And as he went, he wept and said,

O my son!
O my son!
Would to God I had died,
Would to God I had died,
Would to God I had died for thee,
O Absolem, my son, my son!