Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Feast of the Holy Innocents

From Fr. Steve Grunow over at The Word on Fire:
One of the most cherished carols of the Christmas season is often presented as a melody without lyrics. For this reason, the tune is familiar, but the words of the carol are not. The carol of which I am referring to is known as the Coventry Carol, which originates in a 16th century “mystery play” called the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors. The play and the song concern the massacre of the young children of Bethlehem at the command of King Herod, a story that is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. The Coventry Carol is a lament that is imagined in the play to have been sung by the mothers whose children have been murdered by Herod’s cruelty; it combines the sound of their weeping with the gentle cadences of a lullaby:
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 young children to slay.
Then woe is me, poor child for thee
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting, no say nor sing
By by lully lullay

Go read the rest of his post!

1 comment:

  1. I love this carol. It is one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete

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