The Christ Child’s Lullaby


One tune I play nearly every Christmas is The Christ Child’s Lullaby, a traditional song from the Outer Hebrides (known as Taladh Chriosta in Scots Gaelic). I’ve heard many versions of this song over the years, but I first learned it from an early 20th collection titled Songs of the Hebrides, which was collected and arranged by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth Macleod. Apparently this song is still sung on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass in some churches in the Hebrides.

The verse and chorus are quite similar melodically, so I’ve created a composite melody for this lesson.

The Christ Child's Lullaby 1
The Christ Child's Lullaby 2
The Christ Child's Lullaby 3
The Christ Child's Lullaby 4
The Christ Child's Lullaby 5

This is a stark and simple arrangement, and I’ve provided only a single-line melody and the chords. There is a lot a room to add your own ornamentation, variations, and expressive nuances, but a tune like this still sounds wonderful played simply and unadorned.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tune as much as I have. Have a Merry Christmas and a glorious holiday!

About Doug Sparling

Doug graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Technology and a minor in music, with an emphasis in theory/composition. He has released two independent EP/CDs and his first full-length studio CD will be released later this year. Doug is also an arranger/composer for the Old Mission United Methodist Church and teaches a beginners guitar class. For more on Doug and to hear some of his music, visit his site.

Comments [1]

  1. Hi Doug,
    Just love your music ! (and web site too)
    Just wondering if I can purchase “Christ Child Lullaby” backing track without vocals like the sample.
    I could play guitar for the singers at church although it would not sound near as nice and full as your background.
    Thanks, Joe

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