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Musical Advent Calendar: Day 11

During the course of this Advent calendar project I have enjoyed encountering pieces of music new to me, and also those about which I'd long forgotten. The piece I've chosen today belongs to the latter category.

Before I went to university I spent a very happy year as a choral scholar at Norwich Cathedral. During the Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas we sang a beautiful, simple carol by Bryan Kelly (b. 1934), This lovely lady sat and song. I came across it this week, not having sung nor heard it since!

If you are a singer, or an Evensong aficionado (or indeed both!), then you might be familiar with Kelly's Evening canticles in C which, allegedly, include Latin American rhythms. The carol I've chosen for today couldn't be more different in style!

Fr Philip

The text:

Old English, extracts from the hymn This endris night (fifteenth-century)

The music:

The version I've chosen is sung by the choir of All Saints, Margaret St, directed by Paul Brough.

This lovely lady sat and song,     And to her child con say, ' My sone, my broder, my fader dere,     Why liest thou thus in hay ? My swete brid, thus it is betid,     Thogh thou be king veray ; But nevertheles I will not cese     To sing, By by, lullay.'

' My dere moder, whan time it be,     Thou take me up on loft, And sette me upon thy knee,         And handell me full soft ; And in thy arme thou hill me warme,     And kepe night and day ; If that I wepe, and may not slepe,     Thou sing, By by, lullay.'

' Now swete son, sin it is so,     That all thing is at thy will, I pray thee graunte me a bone,     If it be both right and skill, That child or man that will or can     Be mery upon my day, To blisse hem bring, and I shall sing Lullay,     By by, lullay.'


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