Oración de Abuelita - (2008)
for medium voice and piano
for Lucie Anne Ling
Ángel Santo de mi Guarda, mi dulce compañía,
No me desampares, ni de
noche ni de día,
Hasta que descanse en los brazos de Jesús, José y María.
[ 1 page, circa 1' 10" ]
Lucie Anne Ling with Virginia Bachlund
Holy guardian angel, my sweet companion,
Do not forsake me during the night or during the day
Until I rest in the arms of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Amen.
This day, my brother wrote me with recollections of Lucie having learned a
[ 1 ]
in Spanish from my mother, who worked in her later life as a Spanish teacher
for the Los Angeles City Schools and whom Lucie referred to as "great
[ 2 ]
The translation above was done by my brother, Gordon.
Lucie Anne Ling with Gordon Bachlund
My brother had returned from his work in Viet Nam
[ 3 ], bringing with him a family who have become American citizens.
Lucie is their daughter, refers to my brother as "grandpa" and me as "Uncle
Gary." Now an adult, Lucie recently visited my brother Gordon and recalled
this short prayer while reminiscing about our Mom, a text which my brother
transcribed and sent to me with this reminiscence. A very simple musical
setting of it immediately impressed itself on my thinking, such that I had
to notate it. It is amusing to contemplate this small world, for a family
from Viet Nam and of Chinese descent became part of our American family
which originated in Sweden, while the text is in Spanish and the setting was
composed in Germany. A small yet wonderful world.
Written with a limited range and simplified accompaniment, it is meant to
honor Lucie and remember in music their time together.
Copyright © 2008 Gary Bachlund All international rights
The score for Oración de Abuelita is available as a free PDF
download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work
is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the
graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
Oración de Abuelita
[ 1 ] There are a number
of longer variations for this text,
a traditional Catholic
prayer that our mother probably picked up in Mexico during her
studies at the
University of Guadalajara:
among them, 1) "Angel de mi guardia, mi dulce compañía, no me
desampares ni de noche ni de día, haz que me pongan en paz y alegría
con todos los Santos, Jesús y María," and 2) "Ángel Santo de la
Guarda, dulce compañía, no me desampares ni de noche ni de día. No
me dejes solo que me perdería. Ni vivir, ni morir en pecado mortal.
Jesús en la vida, Jesús en la muerte, Jesús para siempre. Amén."
[ 2 ]
Abuelita -- Sp., grandmother.
[ 3 ]
Gordon Bachlund worked as a consultant for electrical engineering in
Saigon, and while there ran a music program at the Catholic basilica
and took part in restoring the organ in that church. He has been a
choir director for churches over the years, in parallel with
his work in engineering. See my
Chorale Variation on "Salzburg" for more information.