JESUS, JESUS REST YOUR HEAD


Instrumentation:
Three- or two-part chorus, solo voice, piano

Text: Traditional

Duration: 4 minutes

Commissioned By:
This piece was written by request for the Oxford University Press carol book

Available From:
Oxford University Press, distributed by C.F. Peters

Composer's Notes:
Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head is a traditional American Christmas carol originating in the Appalachian Mountains, a 1,500 mile chain of mountains encompassing eighteen of the fifty United States. The original melody reflects the speech and dialect of south eastern Appalachia blended with American popular music of 1900-1930 characterized by parlour and vaudeville music, African-American styles, and Minstrel Show tunes. I first heard the carol in a Library of Congress field recording collected by John Jacob Niles. My setting of the melody is a quiet lullaby with piano accompaniment in which harmonically updated echoes of a typical string band of the period can be heard.

— Libby Larsen

To order this piece (sold as part of a World Carols for Choirs compilation), please visit C.F. Peters.