The Wexford Carol

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SSAA a cappella
Traditional text in English
Duration: 4 1/2 minutes
Difficulty rating (1-5): 3

This is another song Sherri suggested I set, and Iím glad she did. And there are some interesting things I discovered. If you listen to Irish folk singers sing this carol all the downbeats, and  therefore also text stresses, are one beat different than the versions you see in carol books. I used the Irish folk singers as my model for this piece. I really feel they have it right. I am also hoping choirs, and whoever sings the solo, will sing it in a folk music style without too much prettiness by emphasizing the angular rhythms, melodic jumps and the storytelling.

Complete perusal score available upon request.

 


TEXT

Good people all, this Christmas-time,
consider well and bear in mind
what our good God for us has done
in sending his beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
to God with love this Christmas day;
in Bethlehem upon that morn
there was a blessed Messiah born.
 
The night before that happy  tide
the noble Virgin and her guide
were long time seeking up and down
to find a lodging in the town.   
But mark how all things came to pass;
from every door repelled alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
was but an humble oxen stall.
 
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep,
to whom God's angels did appear
which put the shepherds in great fear.
"Arise and go," the angels said.
"To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
 for there you'll find, this happy morn,
a princely babe, sweet Jesus born."
 
There were three wise men from afar
directed by a glorious star,
and on they wandered night and day
until they came to where Jesus lay.
And when they came unto that place
where our beloved Messiah was,
they humbly laid them at his feet,
their gifts of gold and incense sweet.
(repeat verse 1)

 

 

  

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