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!