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Song

Coventry Carol

Written by
Publication date
1534
Language
English
Comments
Words: author unknown, oldest known text was written down by Robert Croo in 1534.

Music: author unknown, oldest known printing dates from 1591.

One of the oldest carols in English. Written for the Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors in Coventry (a series of Mystery Plays based on biblical stories). The women of Bethlehem sing this lullaby to quieten their children before Herod's soldiers arrive to kill them.

Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, witnessed the Mystery Plays in 1456 or 1458. The earliest reference to the Plays is from 1392.
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