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1. Lullay, thou tiny little child,
Bye-bye, lulle, lullay;
Lullay, thou tiny little child
Bye-bye, lulle, lullay.

2. Oh sisters two, how may we do
To persevere this day?
To this poor childling (youngling) for whom we sing
Bye-bye, lulle, lullay.

3. Herod, the King, in his raging,
Charg├?┬Ęd he hath this day
His soldiers in their strength and might
All children youg to slay.

4. Then woe is me, poor child for thee,
And ever mourn and say,
For at thy parting nor say nor sing
Bye-bye, lulle, lullay.

5. And when the stars ingather do,
In their far venture stay,
Then smile as dreaming, little one,
Bye-bye, lulle, lullay.

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Source: The Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols, ed. Elizabeth Poston.

"Recorded at Gatlinburg, Tennessee, 16 June 1934 from 'the old lady with the gray hat', by John Jacob Niles. In Ten Christmas Carols from the Appalachian Mountains, 1935."

Poston says, "A striking instance of the transplant to Tennessee of the Coventry Carol...Except for the corruption in stanza 1 ('persevere' instead of 'preserve') and the addition of a regrettable last verse.

Roud: 19028 (Search Roud index at VWML)

Related Songs:  Coventry Carol (thematic)

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