Day 2, Sunday 9th August, and today the Buckden Singers are bringing us this well-known piece from the opera Hänsel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

Abendsegen (Evening Benediction)

Engelbert Humperdinck

When at night I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels watch do keep:
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding,
Two are on my right hand,
Two are on my left hand,
Two who warmly cover,
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ‘tis given to guide my steps to heaven.

Matthew, Mark and Luke and John
Bless the bed that I lie on
Blessed guardian angel
Keep me from all danger
Now I fein would rest me
May the Lord now bless me
If I do not waken
May my soul be taken
By the Lord be given
A home above in heaven

When at night I go to sleep
Angels watch do keep
Angels watch when I sleep

Hansel and Gretel (German: Hänsel und Gretel) is an opera by 19th-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as a Märchenoper (fairy-tale opera).

It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the “Abendsegen” (“Evening Benediction”) from act 2.

The original opera only had one verse but many versions of a second verse have been written to give the opportunity to repeat this beautiful melody and harmony.

Anne Vetch