© Cheryl Frances-Hoad 2019

Lordings, Listen to Our Lay

For SATB Choir 
(2017) 4 minutes

Commissioned by the Musicians' Company and premiered at their Carol Service at St Michael’s Cornhill, London on 13th December 2017 by the Choir of St Michael’s conducted by Jonathan Rennert.

Text

Lordings, listen to our lay --
We have come from far away
To seek Christmas;
In this mansion we are told
He his yearly feast doth hold;
'Tis t-day!
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, I now tell you true,
Christmas bringeth unto you
Only mirth;
His house he fills with many a dish
Of bread and meat and also fish,
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, through our army's band
They say -- who spends with open hand
Free and fast,
And oft regals his many friends --
God gives him double what he spends
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lordings, wicked men eschew,
In them never shall you view
Aught that's good;
Cowards are the rable rout,
Kick and beat the grumblers out,
To grace the day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

To English ale and Gascon wine,
And French, doth Christmas much incline --
And Anjou's, too;
He makes his neighbour freely drink
So that in sleep his head doth sink
Often by day.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Lords, by Christmas and the host
Of this mansion hear my toast --
Drink it well --
Each must drain his cup of wine,
And I the first will toss off mine:
Thus I advise.
Here then I bid you all Wassail,
Cursed be he who will not say, Drinkhail.
May joy come from God above,
To all those who Christmas love.

Anonymous

Performance history (post-premiere)

Recorded by the BBC Singers conducted by Katie Thomas in February 2018 along with eight of Cheryl's other choral works. These recordings were then broadcast over two afternoons during BBC Radio 3's Afternoon Concert programme on the 4th and 5th June 2018.