Then He Will Love Me

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 “Then He Will Love Me,” Leah rocks a baby in a cradle.

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


Close your eyes, my babe.

The moon has risen, cold and pale.

Drift into your dreams

While I tell you a tale…

Once there were two sisters,

One beguiling as wine,

One plain as water.

Their father fooled a man 

Into taking the eldest daughter.

She knew he did not want her

On the day that they were wed.

But she said, “That will change

When we share our skin 

Upon the marriage bed.

He will ease my deep and unspoken fears.

I will please his longing of seven years.

Then he will love me.”

The morning light brought anger

To his stern, angelic face.

But she said, “That will change

When we share a home,

A warm and welcome place.

I will feed his hunger and slake his thirst.

He will need my comfort when he feels cursed.

Then he will love me.”

She loved him

For his tireless strength,

His boundless ambition.

His passionate faith,

His God-given mission.

She said, “How blessed am I to call him mine…

This man who dreams of angels 

And speaks with the Divine.”

He cherished her fair sister

Whom he also took to wife,

But she said, “That will change

When I bear his child,

A new and precious life,

For this boy will kindle his father’s pride

And his joy will keep him at mother’s side.

Then he will love me.”

He held the babe so tenderly,

And spoke of the great man he’d grow to be,

The covenant he would receive,

And visions he might see.

All this, the mother heard,

But to the mother, he spoke not a word.

And still, I am forsaken

By this blind, unyielding man,

But I know he can change.

I will have more sons.

O Lord, anoint my plan.

He won’t care for Sister. She’s barren still.

I will bear him boy after boy until

One day, he loves me.

One day, he must love me.

Vision of Rachel and Leah by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1855