(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
This Endris Night This endris night I saw a sight, A star as bright as day, And ev'r among, a maiden sung, "Lully, bye bye, lullay." This lovely lady sat and sang, And to her child did say, "My son, my brother, father dear, Why liest thou thus in hay?" "My sweetest bird, 'tis thus required, Though I be king veray, But nevertheless I will not cease To sing 'Bye bye, lullay.'" The child then spake in his talking, And to his mother did say, "Yea, I am known as heaven-king In crib though I be laid. "For angels bright down on me light; Thou knowest 'tis no nay. And for that sight thou may delight To sing, 'Bye bye, lullay.'" "Now, sweet son, since thou art a king, Why art thou laid in stall? Why dost not order thy bedding In some great kinges hall? "Methinks 'tis right that king or knight Should lie in good array. And then among, it were no wrong To sing 'Bye bye, lullay.'" This text comes from the "Oxford Book of Carols" (no. 39, page 76). The earliest manuscript containing the song comes from c. 1475. Richard Hill knew the song in the early sixteenth century. The "Oxford Book" lists an additional eight verses, marking them with asterisks. It also gives a tune from the fifteenth (?) century, complete with "fa-burden" (sort of the ancient classical equivalent of mouth music). I honestly haven't a clue where this tune came from; it is NOT the one listed in the Oxford Book. I just looked at the text printed in the Oxford Book, which did not appear familiar to me, and said, "This is the tune for this piece." Presumably I heard the tune somewhere -- but I can't guess where. RW glossary: verse 1: This endris (or "thys ender" or "this endurs"): The other ever among: occasionally, all the while verse 3: veray: verily, in truth verse 5: light: alight no nay: undeniable, not to be denied RW
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!