Byrd, William: Quomodo cantabimus


Quomodo cantabimus

Quomodo cantabimus canticum Domini in terra aliena?
Si oblitus fuero tui, Jerusalem oblivioni detur dextera mea.
Adhæreat lingua mea faucibus meis, si non meminero tui.
Si non proposuero Jerusalem in principio lætitiæ meæ.
Memor esto, Domine, filiorum Edom, in die Jerusalem.

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;
if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem.

Words: Psalm 137, vv. 4–7
Music: William Byrd (c. 1540–1623)