The Lamb


Digital Score

Instrumentation: SATB divisi, unaccompanied

Duration: 4:30

Date of Completion: Fall 2019

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SKU: MH0029 Category:
About the work​

A tender and accessible piece for the Christmas season. Scored for unaccompanied mixed choir.

Commissioned by Marcus Klotz and the Zoe Choir.


Little Lamb who made thee
     Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
     Little Lamb who made thee
     Dost thou know who made thee

     Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
     Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
     Little Lamb God bless thee.
     Little Lamb God bless thee.

​Text by William Blake (1757-1927).


It’s hard to approach a text that’s as synonymous with its musical setting as The Lamb. John Tavener’s immaculate choral work is as moving as it is gorgeous, but I when I read the text, I found a thread that hadn’t been pulled yet. William Blake’s poem doesn’t include punctuation yet includes deliberate capitalization, making for an interesting puzzle. There are several ways to read it. Is the narrator talking to a lamb (“Little lamb, who made thee?”)? Or is the narrator actually speaking to a baby Jesus (“Little Lamb who made thee, Dost thou know who made thee?”)? Maybe it’s both, and for me, that’s where I found the music.