Advent Calendar Day 8: Lullay My Liking (Lawson)

After yesterday’s travesty, I thought you deserved something really gorgeous, and what could be more gorgeous than the King’s Singers?  I was fortunate enough to see them in concert earlier this year, as well as attending one of their masterclasses, and they really are the most perfect ensemble I’ve ever heard – their tuning is so perfect that you get harmonics, and the balance between parts is just amazing.  And they also seem to be lovely people, which is an under-rated skill…

Lullay My Liking is another traditional medieval carol, but not the way the King’s Singers do it!  This particular melody and arrangement is by Philip Lawson, a former baritone with the King’s Singers, and the composer and arranger of quite a lot of their works.  Being a bit of a baroque / renaissance girl myself, a lot of modern classical music is lost on me, and in fact I went through about ten other King’s Singers Christmas tracks (the things I suffer for you!), before realising that the melody of this one was haunting me, and there could be no other choice.

Well, maybe there could be one other choice…

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  Though you will note that even when they are being supremely silly, every note the King’s Singers sing is still perfect.  I can only wish for that level of artistry.

I love these lullaby songs that go with Christmas – and there seem to be so many of them.  We generally do some sort of lullay song every year at choir, but none of the ones we’ve sung ever show up on YouTube – and whenever I go looking, I find yet more lullays with new tunes.  One of these days, I’ll find the one I get my little work choir to do, but I haven’t so far.    All the lullays seem to be a bit obscure.  But they are none the less beautiful, for all that.

(I’m a bit evil and always make my choir full of scientists who sing about once a year do at least one obscure medieval carol.  Fortunately, I’ve now got all the altos trained to *really like* obscure medieval carols, which means they tend to do them very well.  This may have something to do with the fact that I always pick obscure medieval carols with very good alto lines…)

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