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. Amén.
[ 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 short prayer [ 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 grandma." [ 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 reserved.
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.