Four AM (Oliver Barton)

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  • CPDL #06673:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and Finale 2004 files
Editor: Oliver Barton (submitted 2004-02-10).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 175 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Four AM
Composer: Oliver Barton

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularCarol

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 2003

Description: A companion piece to Maud's dream. This is set at 4:00 am on Christmas morning, at which time the twins discover the stockings full of presents at the foot of their beds, and what ensues, ending with a Moral for all parents. Pretty anarchic at times.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Four o’clock on Christmas morn
And hours to go before the dawn;
All asleep as if newborn
While silence reigns supreme.
Pretend that you are Santa Claus,
Come with us now, come indoors.
See where the cat with twitching paws
Stalks sparrows in her dream
Leave her to her furry purrs,
Come upstairs, where nothing stirs;
The master bedroom, his and hers,
The parents of esteem.
Father, mouth wide, catching flies,
Softly snores, while mother sighs
And dreams of cloudless summer skies,
Of sun and clotted cream.
Across the passage, beneath the door,
A light appears, not there before
It heralds an approaching war,
Does that small sudden gleam.
The room’s the twins, oh house, beware!
The Twins awake in the bunks they share;
At its foot, the stockings there
Are bulging at the seam.
They tear with frantic fingertips,
Satsumas roll and wrapping rips;
Like all fraternal comradeships
They fight and bite and scream,
Four fifteen on Christmas morn,
All from sleep are rudely torn
Hours to go before the dawn,
While tempers heat and steam…
Oh parents, listen to our tale,
Beware, be wise or else bewail.
Tell Santa not to deck each bed
With bulging stockings, but instead
To leave the presents secretly
In the lounge beneath the tree,
Then lock the door to combat crime
And keep it locked till breakfast time.