Our House

Lyrics by Marian Partee

Music by Christina Whitten Thomas

Mother’s Word is a song cycle exploring transformative moments in the lives of mothers in the bible. In “Our House,” Mary chides a twelve-year-old Jesus, for staying behind in Jerusalem.

At the link below, you can hear the piece performed by Tina Tong, director/narrator, Rebecca Sjowall, soprano, and Aiko Fukushima, piano.



(spoken:) In your Father’s house?

(sung:) What about our house?

That’s where you belong,

With my fresh baked bread

And a fire on the hearth

And walls, sturdy and strong.

There, I’ve soothed your fevers.

There, I’ve dried your tears.

There, I’ve chased your nightmares away

Through the last twelve years.

What about our house?

You have much to learn

Of your father’s trade.

You cannot sit here and talk.

You know you must return.

There, you’ll grow to manhood.

There, you’ll chisel wood.

There, you will live down the street,

Just the way that you should.

I will keep you safe.

They don’t understand you 

The way I do.

You are not like them.

They may try to harm you

If they knew.

Stay with those who know you.

Stay with those who care.

Stay with those who need you at home.

You can’t just wander anywhere.


Somehow you seem at home here.

You are wise beyond your age.

You amaze the learned teachers.

They can tell you are a sage.

Perhaps I was not meant to keep you.

Perhaps I must let you go your way.

Perhaps you must return to your Father’s house alone.

Perhaps… but not today.

Come back to our house

While you still are mine.

I will wash your feet.

We will break a bit of bread,

And I could use some wine.

There, we’ll share our stories.

There, our love is deep.

There, I will sing you a song

As you fall asleep.

The creative team at the curtain call.