The World’s Desire

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Words by G.K. Chesterton; anon. medieval
SATB, soli
Published by Fresh Ayre Music
Commissioned by The American Composers Forum

Originally scored for the combined musical forces of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota (children’s choir, youth choir, adult choir, and orchestra) for their Christmas service. The text combines Chesterton’s beautiful Christmas verse which sees the Christ child grow through childhood with a medieval prayer that invites the spirit of Christ to rise the listener’s heart “as the dawn breaks into the sky.”

Perusal Score (click to view)

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1. The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

2. The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

3. The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

4. The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown.
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.

[anonymous medieval]
Come into my soul, Lord,
As the dawn breaks into the sky.
Let your son rise in my heart
At the dawning of the day.

Additional information

Instrumentation

SATB, soprano and treble soli – orchestra, SATB, soprano and treble soli – str qtet, SATB, soprano and treble soli – organ & piano, SATB, soprano and treble soli – p/v score

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