Song of the Pines

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SATB a cappella

My carols are a continuation of a family tradition begun in 1922 by my great-grandfather, Rev. Bates Burt, who wrote original carols and sent them as Christmas cards. His son, Alfred Burt, wrote 15 now famous carols. In 2001, I took up the family tradition, and in 2005, wrote "Song of the Pines" and sent it out as my family's Christmas card.

This carol is "additive," i.e. each verse adds a voice-part (alto+ten+sop+bass). It is deeply rooted in my love for early polyphony, the divine mystery, and long snowy walks among the pine trees of Lake Superior, where Bates Burt built his home.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
AB-041-C5.2
Publishing Series: 
Burt Family Carol Series
Duration: 
3:30
Total Pages: 
4
Premiere
Premiere Date: 
12/22/2005
Premiere Ensemble: 
MPR Carolers
See video
Performances: 

Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church (Lila Farrar)
Camerata Nova (Ross Brownlee) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
Camrose Camerata (Joy-Anne Murphy)
Choir of King's Chapel (Heinrich Christensen) - Boston, Massachusetts
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church West (Ruben Piirainen) - Brookfield, Wisconsin
First Unitarian Church of Duluth (Karen Bauman)
First Unitarian Universalist Church (Jason Shelton)
Hobart and William Smith College Choirs (Robert Cowles) - Geneva, New York
MACxima (Keith Brown) - Ohio
Michigan Tech Chamber Choir (Jared Anderson) - Houghton, Michigan
Minnetonka Choral Society (Jere Lantz) - Deephaven, Minnesota
MPR Carolers - Saint Paul, Minnesota
St. Martin's Chamber Choir - Denver, Colorado
Sunday Night Singers - Lancaster, California
Syracuse Vocal Ensemble (Robert Cowles) - Dewitt, New York
Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network National Conference (Kela Wanyama) - St. Paul, MN
Utah Chamber Artists (Dr. Barlow Bradford) - Salt Lake City, Utah
Voces Novae et Antiquae (Robert Ross) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Walden Hill Vocal Ensemble (Joe Mish) - Rochester, Minnesota

Text
Text Author or Source: 
Abbie Betinis
Language: 
English
Text: 

Night, and the world asleep,
All the silver pines are still,
Here the moonlit earth lies bleak and chill,
Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Now, a celestial song
Shiv'ring down from lofty cones,
Drops bough by bending bough in whispered tones:
Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Blow! You great Northwind,
Carry this song of long ago,
And on your way redeem us all in snow,
Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Lo! How immortal hymns
Fall from the lips of wakened souls,
Hail! Arise and greet the babe the choir extols,
Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born...

Night, and the world asleep,
But for the song of the snowy pine,
O! Yet here is God's own evidence divine,
Mirabile Mysterium, a child is born.

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Text © 2005 by Abbie Burt Betinis. For permission to reprint this text, please contact the author.