Lully lullay

A little something for today’s feast day, not widely celebrated in the Church.

Sorry about the visuals on that one. The singing is brilliant though, so I went with it anyway. While you’re in the mood, don’t miss this offering of Kenneth Leighton’s setting. I actually like Leighton’s a bit more, but I decided to feature the traditional one. We’re all about tradition here on 7WD.

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4 Responses

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    This setting didn’t “edit out” the clash in harmonies, like our hymnal does, on the second beat of measure 24. Somewhere I’ve read or heard that the original did have this juxtaposition of the F and F#. I want to say that I first heard about it on a broadcast of “St. Paul Sunday Morning” (that long ago) with Chanticleer, but I’ve been wrong before.

    I’m sure some roving musicologist will stop by and give a technical name for what I call the clash. Also, several music historians will have an argument here on whether the clash was meant. I just think it works, considering the subject of this hymn.

  2. Scott Gunn says:


    Here I get to put my undergraduate music studies to work: that’s a “false relation”. It’s intentional, and quite beautiful I might add.

    You can read about false relations here:


  3. John Donnelly says:

    Beautiful indeed the “false relation”. Unfortunately, very few will sing even the hymnal’s version of this carol, as the feast of the Holy Innocents’ is noted in a tiny number of parishes. I’m lucky that the slaughtered babes are my parish’s patron saints, so every year we put the Herod back in Christmas, recalling the unremitting cycle of power and hate that victimize so many innocent children of God.

    Go in peace, to love and serve.

  4. Ricky says:

    I have loved the Coventry Carol for many years. I first heard it by Chet Atkins on guitar. I’ve always loved the music as lovely as it is. It is considered to be the only sad Christmas Carol.

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