Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Poetry - The Coventry Carol

On the day before the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children massacred by Herod in his search for Jesus, the only carol to listen to is the Coventry Carol, probably the saddest, most moving of all Christmas songs.
This carol was originally part of the Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors in the 15th century, one of the Mystery Plays performed in Coventry. The tune is also said to be medieval.

Here is Westminster Cathedral Choir & here is the Dunedin Consort.

Lullay, lulla, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.

Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.