On Sunday 1st March, the women get a week off and only the men of All Saints Church Choir will sing Choral Eucharist at 9.30am.
To begin the service, the men will sing Corpus Christi Carol by English composer Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) from the back of church underneath the ancient Tower.
Britten wrote this aged 19 while he was studying at the Royal College of Music in London. This motet is actually part of a larger 30-minute piece of work called A Boy Is Born and this was first performed in 1934.
No-one knows who wrote the lyrics, the manuscript was discovered in 1504. It’s also a mystery as to why it is a carol as it does not discuss the nativity at all.
He bare him up, he bare him down, he bare him into an orchard brown.
Lully, lully, lully, lully
The faucon hath born my make away.
In that orchard there was an hall, it was hanged with purple and pall.
And in that hall there was a bed, it was hanged with gold so red.
In that bed there lieth a knight, his woundes bleeding day and night.
By that bedside kneeleth a may, and she sweepeth both night and day.
And by that bedside there standeth a stone, Corpus Christi written thereon.
2013 was the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth, and throughout that year the music world celebrated under the banner of Britten 100.
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