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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".




Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku* 

(Cradle Rocking Song/Shepherds' Rocking Carol)




Traditional Czech carol

 Dulcimer arr. by Marc Mathieu


(*sounds like: Hah-yay, Nee-nay, Yay-zheesh-ku)


          In keeping with the Holiday Season, this month’s tab offering is a traditional Czech folk song that has served both as a Christmas carol and a lullaby for well over 400 years. Translations of its lyrics differ, however the message is clearly that of adoration for the infant, Jesus.  The title translation, “Cradle Rocking Song” might well be the word “Lullaby”.  Recall here that Brahms’ well-known “Lullaby” is an English translation of “Weigenlied”, or “cradle song”.  The fact that this song is traditionally sung by children on Christmas Eve, prior to the distribution of presents, explains its classification as a “carol”.


            The Christmas tradition in Czechoslovakia is a bit different, in that the personalities of Santa Claus and Kris Kringle, (or even St. Nicholas) are replaced by the Baby Jesus, Himself, who is said to enter the home through a window on Christmas Eve, with gifts for the children. No one ever sees Him. The children of the family, traditionally, are kept busy singing carols after the Christmas Eve dinner to entertain the adults. During this time, the parents place the children’s gifts under the Christmas tree in another room. Following sundown and the appearance of the first evening star, a bell is rung to announce that the Baby Jesus has come, left His gifts and departed. The significance of the appearance of the star relates both to the story of Christ’s birth and to the more ancient ritual of observance of the winter solstice and the coming of days of longer sunshine (see the text for Santa Lucia in our Archives).


            There is one more bit of surprise with this tune.  If we listen carefully we can recognize a melody that strongly resembles “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. In America, we think of this as a nursery rhyme that was set to music.  Is there an even more-ancient ancestor of this folk music?




            Most readers are already aware that a 1-3-5 tuning like D-F#-A, used here by Marc for this arrangement, is not a modal tuning and that no drones can be used for accompaniment. It may be surprising, therefore, to note that the great majority of all notes in the melody are harmonized by 2-note or 3-note chords!  The tablature makes it clear which notes are to be used in every case, so the challenge is to play through the music slowly in order to memorize finger patterns and positioning. Double strumming is permitted. As usual, the sound file will help familiarize you with the tempo of the music.


Your 1-3-5 team



Czech lyrics:
1. Hajej, nynej, Jezísku,
Jezísku, pucíme ti kozísku.
Budeme té kolíbati,
Abys moh' libe pospati,
Hajej, nynej, Jezísku,
Pucíme ti kozísku.
2. Hajej, nynej, milácku,
Milácku, mariánský synácku.
Budeme té kolíbati,
Abys moh' libe pospati,
Hajej, nynej, milácku,
Mariánský synácku.

Translated by Percy Dearmer for The Oxford Book of Carols:
1. Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, 

do not stir;
We will lend you a coat of fur,
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you:
See the fur to keep you warm,
Snugly round your tiny form.

2. Mary's little baby, sleep, sweetly sleep,
Sleep in comfort, slumber deep;
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you:
We will serve you all we can,
*Darling, darling little man.

*Some have sought to change the last line to "Son of God and Son of Man."



Still another version:
1. Jesus, Jesus, little one, 

little one,
Gift of heaven, Mary's son.
We will rock you, rock you, rock you.
We will rock you, rock you, rock you.
Jesus, Jesus do not fear,
Those who love you 

will be near.

2. Hajej, nynej, Jezísku,
Pucíme ti kozísku.
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you.
We will rock you, rock you, 

rock you.
We will serve you all we can,
Darling, darling, little man.



Download files for Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku: (updated 11/09 - final files)



Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku.pdf


Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku.tef - TablEdit file


Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku.MIDI from TEF file


*If you are interested in exploring the features of the MusEdit program, Click here to download the MusEdit demo from www.musedit.com, so you can try it out for yourself. After you have installed the program, download the file below.


Hajej, Nynej, Jezisku.MED.ZIP - MusEdit file*  

This file has been compressed or zipped; it seems to be the only way I can make it  accessible for download. Simply download and unzip it onto your computer; then double-click as usual, to open with the MusEdit program.



Historical Links:





I think that after the free trial period, the MusEdit program reverts to a "read-only" format, so you can still view and playback a MusEdit file, but you can no longer edit it or create files of your own.

 If you have problems with the above MusEdit file, contact me at RHRandle(at)Juno.com and I will email you an unzipped copy. 


  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





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