Songs of Innocence: Little Lamb


“Little Lamb” is the gentle and tender second movement of Songs of Innocence.  The entire first stanza is sung by women alone, on a melody comprised of lovely arches.  They open with a question: “Little lamb, who made thee?” The men initiate the second stanza, in answer: “Little lamb, I’ll tell thee.”  In reverent manner they continue: “He is called by thy name, for he calls himself a lamb.”  Then the women return, in a beautiful descant, joining the men, finishing out the stanza with rich harmonies and yearning suspensions.  The piece closes with a quiet benediction: “Little lamb, God bless thee.”

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Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a lamb.
He is meek, and he is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

~William Blake, 1789

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SATB a cappella

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