Digital Tradition Mirror

This Endris Night

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or 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

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

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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