ari im sokhak (satb)


  • Catalog ID: S-475
  • First Line: ari im sokhak, t'ogh partez merin
  • Composer: Traditional, Arr. Brent Wells
  • Voicing: satb
  • Accompaniment: piano
  • Language: Armenian
  • Country: Armenia
  • Other: new 2021
  • Score: View Score
  • Sound: Listen


Cultural Context

In this traditional Armenian folksong, a mother seeks to lull her restless son to sleep. To do so,she enlists the aid of a nightingale and a skylark to sing to him. Their songs aim to comfort theboy by promising him a future as a deacon or a priest—a very respected position in Armenia.  However, despite their best efforts, these promises do not entice him.  Finally a hawk comes to help the mother by “singing” songs of valor, promising the boy a soldier’s life, which ultimatelysucceeds in lulling him to sleep.

While the text at first reading might strike the listener as an unusual lullaby, when one considers the history of the Armenian people, the story comes into focus.

A recording of this piece can be viewed on YouTube:

Come my Nightingale

Come my nightingale, leave the gardenTell poems for my boy to fall into slumberHe is crying, do not come, nightingale
My son doesn’t want to become a bishop

Leave your green and pasture, skylarkGently rock my boy, he needs to sleepHe is crying, do not come, skylark
My son doesn’t want to become a priest

Leave your hunt, come, brave hawk
Your song may be what my son wants
When the hawk came, my son hushed
And fell into slumber with the songs of valor.