4:00 | SATB with Baritone Solo | Score

Program Note

Coventry Carol is a traditional English Christmas Carol written in the 1500s. It tells the somber story of how King Herod, feeling threatened upon hearing the news of Jesus’ birth, ordered that all young boys under the age of two in Bethlehem be killed. The “Coventry Carol” is a lullaby sung by the grieving mothers who have lost their children in this tragic massacre.

This arrangement, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, sets the traditional English melody with jazz-inspired harmonies and modal inflections. A powerful Baritone solo, representing King Herod, highlights the darkness of Herod’s decree. The arrangement also contains an original intro, interlude, and outro. This arrangement would be a great fit for any Festival of Lessons and Carols or sacred Christmas concert.

Text

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

 

O sisters, too, how may we do,

For to preserve this day;

This poor Youngling for whom we sing,

Bye, bye, 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,

Bye, bye, lully, lullay.