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Christmas in Fulham: Now May We Singen

Parish Choir Photograph by Shirley Mukisa

Parish Choir Photograph by Shirley Mukisa

The musical centrepiece of All Saints Fulham Choir’s year is the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 15 December at 6pm. One of the anthems the Choir will sing is Now May We Singen by Cecilia McDowall.

Cecilia McDowall talks about the carol on her website

In 2006 Michael Lock contacted me to ask if I would write a carol for the Concord Singers for performance the following year which, of course, I was delighted to do. I chose the text of the 15th Century carol, Now may we singen, and set it in a linear style, spare in texture, to resonate with the words. The carol was first performed at the Corn Exchange, Bedford, December 2007, conducted by Mary Lock. Now may we singen is written in memory of Michael Lock.


Chorus: Now may we singen as it is
Quod puer natus est nobis.

1. This Babe to us that now is born,
Wonderful works He hath (y)wrought
He would not loss what was forlorn,
But boldly again it bought;

And thus it is
For sooth ywis,
He asketh nought but that is His.

2. This bargain lovëd He right well,
The price was high and bought full dear.
Who would suffer and for us feel
As did that Prince withouten peer?

And thus it is
For sooth ywis,
He asketh nought but that is His.

3. His ransom for us hath ypaid;
Good reason have we to be His.
Be mercy asked and He be prayed,
Who may deserve the heavenly bliss.

And thus it is
For sooth ywis,
He asketh nought but that is His.

4. To some purpose God made man;
I trust well to salvation.
What was His blood that from Him ran
But fence against damnation?

And thus it is
For sooth ywis,
He asketh nought but that is His.

5. Almighty God in Trinity,
Thy mercy we pray with whole heart,
Thy mercy may all woe make fell
And dangerous deread from us to start.

And thus it is
For sooth ywis,
He asketh nought but that is His.

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About All Saints Fulham Choir

The All Saints Fulham Church is the home of three choirs. A traditional Parish Choir who sing wide-ranging repertoire which spans nine centuries and tours regularly at home and abroad; a Gospel Choir who sing a mixture of contemporary and traditional gospel styles, and a junior choir for children from Year 3 upwards.

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