Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The Coventry Carol" Sung by Collegium Vocale Gent, Directed by Peter Dijkstra


The Coventry Carol, a "haunting carol represent a mother's lament for her doomed child" during "the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed," was sung instead of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's Hodie Christus Natus Est by Chorus Novus, "a Rochester-based choral group that sings a wide range of chant and liturgical music from the Catholic tradition," at today's Festival of Lessons and Carols with Chorus Novus at nearby once-Catholic Nazareth College's beautiful Linehan Chapel, and solemnly dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The haunting reconstructed 16th Century lyrics:
    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 do 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 young children to slay.

    That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
    And ever mourn and sigh,
    For thy parting neither say nor sing,
    Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

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