I Betlehem, mitt hjärta, SATB + S-diskant, lång

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I Betlehem, mitt hjärta

The picture shows an old "fjös" in Äsisela, a cattle-shed with a wonderful light above it in the sky.

I Betlehem, mitt hjärta,
miraklet stilla sker.
Ett barn föds fram ur smärta
till liv och syn. Jag ser
en Son vars öppna sinne
fördömelse ej vet
men bär på Faderns minne
av ljus och evighet.

Jag ser det lilla barnet,
en tyngdlös resenär,
som glimmar i sin himmel,
som svävar i sin sfär.
Men ord kan ej beskriva
hans ljus, hans helighet.
Dock genom slutna ögon
han ser sig själv, han vet.

Han ser långt bortom rymder.
Han ser långt efter tid.
Han ser en värld försonad,
en Människa, en Frid.
Han ser det lilla barnet
som innefattar allt,
och vet i barnets skepnad
tar Kristus själv gestalt.

Nu jublar jordens klippor,
nu sjunger stjärnors kor
en sång från skapelsens gryning
som ännu i mig bor!
En röst jag återfinner,
ett Jag jag återser.
Jag hör hur barnet nynnar
och om förlossning ber.

Så klinge glädjeklockor!
Så spele strängaspel!
Bered en väg för Barnet!
Bered en väg för Fred!
Guds rike kommer till oss
i största ödmjukhet.
Jag tar emot det Barnet
och min Identitet.

Anders Nyberg © Peace of Music Publishing 1994

Here follows a literal but not singable translation:

1. In Bethlehem, my heart, the miracle happens in stillness
A child is born through pain into life and sight.
I see a Son whose open mind knows no judgement
but carries the Father’s memory, of light and eternity.

2. I see the little child, a weightless traveller
shimmering in its heaven, soaring in its sphere.
Though words cannot describe his light, his holiness
he sees himself through closed eyes, he knows.

3. He sees far beyond the heavens. He sees long after time.
He sees a world redeemed; one human, one peace.
He sees the little child encompassing everything
and knows Christ Himself takes shape in the form of a child

4. Now the foundations of the earth rejoices, the choir of stars sings
a song from the dawn of creation that still lives within me!
A Voice I reclaim, a Self I see again,
I hear how the child hums and asks for delivery.

5. So may the bells of joy ring! May the strings play!
Prepare a way for the Child! Prepare a way for peace!

God’s Kingdom comes to us in great humility

I receive that Child - and my Identity.

In my grandfather’s childhood home this song was always sung at Christmas on this old folkmelody. The lyrics they sang were the traditional: ”To Bethlehem my heart hurries from the pain of the world on a peaceful pilgrimage.”

It goes om depicting the light shining forth from Bethlehem, from far away and long ago and the own heart and soul as rather dark and gloomy places.

I loved the music, coming as it does from my home village, and wanted to arrange it, but when I tried I could not, I was wrestling with the images, and the old heritage.

But then instead of singing in the beginning; ”To Bethlehem my heart…” I changed the preposition and put in a comma: ”In Bethlehem, my heart,...”.

And the comma, like a magic wand, moved Bethlehem from far away and long ago right into my heart! The creation of the rest of the song I remember with utmost joy. I wrote down the words swiftly as they were given and danced and sang joyfully after having at last reached my Bethlehem. It was never far away nor long ago, it was there all the time for the discovery, it only took a little comma to realize it!

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These beautiful images courtesy of Pexels.com