Brahms Lullaby
Lyrics, History, and More

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Lyrics

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Lullaby and good night, with roses bedight
With lilies o'er spread is baby's wee bed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and goodnight, thy mother's delight
Bright angels beside my darling abide
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast

(Note: The word "bedight" means decorated or adorned.)

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Lyrics begin at 45 seconds if you want to skip ahead.

History

Brahms Lullaby was written in the 1800's as a gift for Mr. Brahms' friend, Bertha Faber, when she had her second child. There are many versions and verses for the lullaby that takes its name from Johannes Brahms’ Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht, Op. 49, No. 4 which was published in 1868. The lyrics of the first verse are from a German folk poem found in a collection called Des Knaben Wunderhorn.

Mr. Brahms grew up in a poor family in Hamburg, Germany. He showed early talent on a piano and his dad taught him to play. As he grew, he made extra money playing piano in local venues such as theaters and restaurants. It is also rumored that he played in brothels but that may be just a rumor.

He began touring at the age of 20. On one of his tours, he met the great composer Robert Schumann who became his mentor and advocate.

He traveled widely in Europe in his 20's and 30s and eventually settled in Vienna, Austria in his mid 30's. He became a leader in that vibrant music scene.

Brahms was known to have a cantankerous personality as illustrated by the quote often attributed to him, "If there is anyone here I have NOT offended, I apologize." He was not a drunk but he did have a love of fine wines. He was also a brilliant composer, hard worker and gifted concert pianist who will always be remembered for the extraordinary music, including his namesake lullaby, that he left to us all.

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