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Coventry Carol

Digital Sheet Music

By Mark Kline

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Piano Accompaniment, Choir, SATB - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Mark Kline. Neo-Classical, Christian, Sacred, Christmas. Score. 5 pages. Published by Mark Kline (S0.137761).

Item Number: S0.137761

Traditional—yet quite unalike to other standard Christmascarols, the “Coventry Carol” is a lullaby sung for the innocent children ofBethlehem who were slaughtered by King Herod.

While most Christmas music rightly focuses on the joyfulcelebration of the mystery of the Word-Made-Flesh, the “Coventry Carol” is areminder of the rejection, suffering, and death which was present from themoment the Light entered the World.

Even when Jesus was born, He was on His way to the Cross, sothat through suffering and death He might show us the glory and hope of the Resurrection.As a memorial for the innocents and as a foreshadowing of the Cross, songs inthe spirit of “Coventry Carol” deserve inclusion in Christmas concerts andworship services.

The original Coventry Carol was part of the Nativity play ofCoventry, England, with a text from before 1534 and melody before 1591.

Lully, lullay, thou littletiny child,
Bye bye, lully, lullay. 

O sisters too, how may wedo
For to preserve this day
These poor younglings forwhom we sing,
"Bye bye, lully,lullay"?

 Herod the king, in hisraging,
Chargèd he hath this day
His men of might in his ownsight
All young children to slay. 

While departing from the typical “four-part hymn accompaniedby piano”, Mark Kline’s setting of the Coventry Carol is designed to be veryperformable, requiring only a few voices and a pianist. Having children sing the melody with the choir can be especially poignant for this piece. The Coventry Carol isexcellent for Christmas Pageants, Madrigals, and other Christmas activities,and continues to work well in its original context as part of a Nativity play.


2016 Choral Contest Entry

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