This cradle song, evoking a picture of the arrival of the Wise Men at the crib of Jesus in Bethlehem, is from a group of ‘Songs from Connacht’ by the Irish poet Padraic Colum. Colum was born in Longford, Ireland, where his father was master of the workhouse before abandoning the family for the goldfields of Colorado. Padraic Colum worked as a railway clerk until a wealthy American gave him a scholarship that enabled him to spend his time studying and writing. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he lived for a time in France, and later went to America; but throughout his career he tried to represent the speech and the people of his native Ireland. There have been many settings of the words. This 1920s example is by Gladys Mary Sheldon, born in Derby and active as a music teacher in Birmingham.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2003