Henry's Songbook

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Coventry Carol

  • Trad

    Looly loolay, thou little tiny child
    Bye bye looly loolay
    Thou little tiny child, bye bye looly loolay

    O sisters too, how may we do
    For to preserve this day
    This poor youngling for whom we do sing
    Bye bye looly loolay

    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 looly loolay

    As sung by The Spinners

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1976:] [This was] so called from its performance at Christmas during the Middle Ages by the women of Coventry. (Notes Spinners, 'English Collection')

    [1986:] This version by Robert Croo, 1534 (acc. to Amis/Cochrane ?)

    [1998:] The word [carol], from the French 'carole', first appears in English in 1300 and only became primarily associated with Christmas songs in the fifteenth century. According to the classic work, Richard Leighton Greene's 'The Early English Carol', 'a carol is a song of joy originally accompanying a dance ... it has come eventually to be used to designate a kind of lyric poem, usually, but not exclusively on sacred subjects, intended to be sung with or without musical accompaniment.' (Peter Silverton, Observer, 5 July)

    [1998:] [...] the magical moment in the Coventry mystery plays where, as the massacre of the innocents begins, the stage direction says 'the Women come in with their children, singing' and what they sing is that most haunting of all carols, Lullay, lullay, thou littel tine child. The carol lulls the mothers, audience and the children in their laps, announcing 'the possibility of security and bliss', but it doesn't prevent the massacre of the baby boys in the play. As Auden said: 'All the best nursery poetry shocks the Neo-Hygienic-child-lover', and Warner's wonderful study compellingly brings desires and terrors into close proximity - as so many of the most familiar lullabies do. (Hugh Haughton, review Marina Warner, 'No Go the Bogeyman', Observer, 15 Nov)

Quelle: England


 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 15.10.1999