Scripture Verse

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under. Matthew 2:16

Introduction

illustration
Slaughter of the Innocents
Carl H. Bloch (1834–1890)

Words & Mu­sic: Re­nai­ssance ca­rol (🔊 pdf nwc). It is named af­ter the city of Co­ven­try, Eng­land, where the 15th Cen­tu­ry Pa­geant of the Shear­men and Tail­ors de­pict­ed Her­od’s slaugh­ter of the in­no­cents, told in the lyr­ics.

Lyrics

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
By, by, lully, lullay?

Herod the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever morn and day
For Thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.