Staffan var en stalledrängMäntyjärvi Jaakko
Stephen Was a Stable Boy
Staffan var en stalledräng (Stephen was a stable boy) is a traditional Swedish Christmas carol based on an English and Nordic legend claiming that the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, was a stable boy in King Herod’s household. In its most extensive form, the song has four sections: Stephen caring for the horses; Stephen riding out hunting; Stephen sees the star of Bethlehem and foretells the birth of Jesus to King Herod; and a concluding section generically about the Christmas feast, unconnected to Stephen himself.
The text in this setting is a hybrid, taken from three different versions of the song; it omits the King Herod scene entirely for conciseness. The melody draws on the traditional Swedish tune of the song but takes liberties and incorporates scraps of tunes from the Piae Cantiones collection as well.
Commissioned by Chanticleer in 2016. Duration 4’30”
|Opening words||Staffan var en stalledräng, håll dig väl, fålen min...|
|Music Style||Christmas , Contemporary / Modern , taidemusiikki|