The Gift

Words: traditional; Music: Gordon Bok

 

The words were collected and translated from the Gaelic by Alexander Carmichael, and published in his volumes called Carmina Gadelica. Years ago Kate Barnes copied this out and sent it to Jan Harmon, who passed it on to me.

It was sung door to door around Christmas time in the Hebrides. The tune is mine; my cousin Ethelwyn Worden helped me get the kinks out of the harmony, as did Will Brown.

 

Sung by the Quasimodal Chorus!

 

I am the gift, I am the poor

I am the man of this night

I am the son of God in the door

I am the gift on the living.

 

Son of the rain, son of the dew

Son of the dawn, son of the clouds;

Son of the planet, son of the star

Son of the element, son of the flame

Son of the moon, son of the sun

Son of Mary of the God-mind

 

I see the hills, I see the shore,

I see the hosting of angels,

A cross on my right shoulder;

I am in the door: open thou.

 

 

The Gift is recorded on the album Gatherings and is also in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul.