An Ulster-Scots Lullaby (Whisht Wee Bairn)

This is a simple traditional-style lullaby, with words in the Scots [see note] which prevailed strongly in areas of the province of Ulster for over 400 years. Large numbers of Scottish settlers came to Ireland in the 17th century, particularly to counties Down and Antrim, bringing with them their `ain mither tongue'.

Audio Sample:

Listen to a synthesized audio demo of choir and piano:-

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Choir and Piano

Unaccompanied Choir

Basic Melody with Piano Accompaniment

Lyrics

Whisht wee bairn and dinnae greet
Mither's here tae shish ye
She'll sing a sang sae saft an' sweet
Tae ye hae fa'en ower

Whan your een hae claesed she'll slip awa
An' lea' ye in God's care
For she kens he'll aye watch ower ye
Tae ye wak for her aince mair

(English)

Hush wee child and do not cry
Mother's here to shush you
She'll sing a song so soft and sweet
'Til you have fallen over

When your eyes have closed she'll slip away
And leave you in God's care
For she knows he'll e'er watch over you
'Til you wake for her once more

The words and melody are free to use and arrange as required for non-commercial purposes, although acknowledgment of the composer and original arranger would be appreciated; for commercial recordings, please seek permission first. If you wish to transpose key, then a Sibelius file is available on request.

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Note: It should be noted that both use of words and pronunciation varied from area to area, even within the same county. In latter years waen was more commonly used for `child' rather than bairn, and yince or yinst for `once', rather than aince. `Whisht' was often pronounced wheest.