Gavin Bryars: Cadman Requiem (1997 Version)

On December 21st 1988, a bomb exploded on board Pan Am flight 103 destroying the aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. 270 people were killed, 259 on the aircraft and 11 in the town below. Among the dead was Bill Cadman a sound engineer who was a friend of the British composer Gavin Bryars. The requiem which you’ll find below is Bryars’ tribute to his friend.

Bryars’ use of Caedmon’s "Creation Prayer" is especially moving. Caedmon’s poem which dates from 680 A.D. is the first recorded English poem. The surname of Bryrar’s friend killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 "Cadman" is a corruption of "Caedmon".


Text: Bryars: Cadman Requiem

Original — Latin and Old EnglishTranslation— Modern English

I Requiem

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison


Eternal rest grant them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
O Lord, hear my prayer, all flesh shall come to thee.
Lord have mercy; Christ have mercy.

II Caedmon Paraphrase (Bede) (tenor solo)

Nunc laudare debemus auctorem regni caelestis, potentiam Creatoris et consilium illius, facta Patris gloriae. Quomodo ille, cum sit aeternus Deus, omnium miraculorum auctor extitit, qui primo filiis hominum caelum pro culmine tecti, dehinc terram custos humani generis omnipotens creavit.


Praise we now the maker of Heaven’s fabric, the majesty of His might and His mind’s wisdom, work of the world-warden, worker of all wonders, how the Lord of Glory, first made Heaven for the children of men as a roof and shelter, then he made middle earth to be their mansion.

III Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem.

Lux aeterna luceat eis, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum quia pius est.

Requiem aeterna dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.


Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, give them rest.

Let perpetual light shine upon them, together with thy Saints, for thou art good.

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

IV Caedmon’s "Creation Hymn" (baritone solo)

Nu scylun hergan hefaenricaes uard, metudaes mecti end his mogdedanc, uerc wuldurfadur sue he wundra gihwaes,eci dryctin, or astelidae;

he aerist scop aelda barnum heben til hrofe, haleg scepen, tha middungeard moncynnaes uard; eci dryctin aefter tiadae firum foldu frea allmectig.


Now let us praise the keeper of the kingdom of heaven, the might of God and the wisdom of his spirit, the work of the Father of glory, in that he, the eternal Lord, ordained the beginning of everything that is wonderful. He, the holy Creator, first created heaven as a roof for the children of men; afterwards the keeper of mankind, the eternal Lord, almighty Governor, fashioned the world, the middle earth, for mortals.

V In Paradisum

In paradisum deducant angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiat te martyres et perducant te in civitatem sanctam. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere, aeternam habeas requiem.


May the angels receive thee in paradise; at thy coming may the martyrs receive thee into the Holy City. There may the choir of angels receive thee and with Lazarus, once a beggar, may thou have eternal rest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *