I am sure that most choir directors who have ensembles performing Christmas songs and carols over the festive season would be aware of the Coventry Carol (sometimes referred to as Lully, Lullay). The carol refers to the ‘massacre of the innocents’ which took place when King Herod ordered his soldiers to slay all male children in his kingdom under the age of two. The carol is taken from the Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, which was popular during medieval times in the English city of Coventry.
But did you know that there is another carol that comes from the same pageant?
The Coventry Shepherds’ Carol (As I Outrode This Enderes Night)
Referred to variously as The Coventry Shepherds’ Carol or As I Outrode This Enderes Night, it is not as well-known as The Coventry Carol and is consequently not generally part of the ‘standard’ Christmas repertoire. This is possibly because it is somewhat more challenging to sing and/or because the vocal score has been rather difficult to find.
Personally, I believe that this carol deserves to be much better known and much more widely performed than is currently the case. Unlike the Coventry Carol, it has as its subject matter a very happy event – the announcement to shepherds in the fields of the birth of the baby Jesus.
A new and expanded arrangement, readily available
So, as my contribution to enhancing the popularity of this delightful and joyful carol, here is a new arrangement in an expanded format. Expanded, because it is written for four voices (SATB) rather than the original three (STB); and because it contains five verses rather than the original two. The text for the additional verses has been adapted from the pageant’s dialogue as contained between the two verses of the original carol.
Notes, samples and clips
You can find out more about my arrangement of The Coventry Shepherds’ Carol by visiting my website where there are sample pages and an audio clip available.
Purchase The Coventry Shepherds’ Carol online for immediate download
The Coventry Shepherds’ Carol is available for online purchase and immediate download. Simply go to my website, and click on the Buy Now button in the right-hand sidebar.
Like to have a favourite carol or Christmas song arranged for choir?
If you have a favourite Christmas carol/song that you would like to have arranged for your choir, please contact me with your request and I’ll do my best to have your idea realised.