Through the Dark Night EP

Our Christmas EP, Through the Dark Night, was released on 1 December 2019.

You can buy physical or digital copies from bandcamp.

Track listing

  1. Christ Child Lullaby
  2. Hosana Mwy
  3. Stannington
  4. Coventry Carol

Lyrics, translations and credits

Christ Child Lullaby

Traditional melody with lyrics (believed to be) by Fr. Ronald Rankin; arranged by Cathy Thomson & The Foxglove Trio

A beautiful carol from the 19th century traditionally sung at midnight mass in the Scottish Outer Hebrides.

My love, my treasured one are you,
My sweet and lovely son are you,
You are my love, my darling you,
Unworthy I of you.

Your mild and gentle eyes proclaim
The loving heart with which you came
A tender, helpless, tiny babe,
With boundless gifts of grace

And though You are the King of all
They sent You to the manger stall
Where at Your feet they all shall fall
To praise my child, the King

My love, my treasured one are you,
My sweet and lovely son are you,
You are my love, my darling you,
Unworthy I of you.

Hosanna Mwy

Verse 1 lyrics traditional, verses 2-5 J. Lloyd Williams, traditional melody; arranged by The Foxglove Trio

Since pre-reformation times families in Wales would write their own Christmas carols and sing them, in close 3 part harmony, at a church service that started in the middle of the night and went on until dawn. Hosanna Mwy is a rarer example of a solo Plygain song. J. Lloyd Williams, author of the last four verses, was one of the founders of the Welsh Folk Song Society in 1906.

Am oesau hir, yn llesg a gwan,
Hiraethai’r saint am Grist, eu rhan;
Pa bryd y daw? Pa bryd y daw
Ȃ’i gadarn law i’n dwyn i’r lan?

Drwy gaddug tew y dywell nos
Y Doethion aent dros fryn a rhos,
A’r seren wen, a’r seren wen
A aeth uwchben Effrata dlos.

Mewn llety llwyd, mewn preseb tlawd,
Y dwyfol Fab ddaeth inni’n Frawd;
I gadw dyn, i gadw dyn
Daeth Duw ei hun i fyw mewn cnawd.

Cwyd, cwyd dy ben, bechadur gwael,
Mae gwaredigaeth heddiw i’w chael;
Fe anwyd Crist, fe anwyd Crist
I’r enaid trist yn Geidwad hael.

Wel dyma’r dydd, dewch fawr a mȃn,
Rhowch glod i Dduw mewn newydd gȃn;
Hosanna mwy! Hosanna mwy!
Daeth bywyd drwy yr Iesu glȃn.


Translation

For a long time, frail and weak,
The saint longed for their Christ;
When will he come? When will he come
With his steady hand to bring us to the shore?

Through the thick mist and the dark night
The Wise Men went over hill and moor,
And the white star, and the white star
Travelled above fair Ephrata.

In a grey inn, in poor manger,
The divine Son came to us our brother;
To save mankind, to save mankind,
God himself came to live as flesh.

Raise, raise your head, you wretched sinner,
Deliverance is to be found today;
Christ was born, Christ was born
As a merciful saviour for the sad soul.

Well this is the day, come big and small,
Praise God in a new song;
Sing Hosanna louder! Sing Hosanna louder!
Life came through the pure Jesus.

Stannington

Lyrics and melody by Mina Dyson; arranged by The Foxglove Trio

This is a carol from the traditions of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire which has existed for around 250 years. Pubs in the area can be found full of enthusiastic singers during the month of December joining in with the rousing chorus carols. The titles often refer to a village or town in the area.

The late Mina Dyson wrote the tune for Stannington around 1945 for use with the lyrics from the anniversary hymn 'God send you many days as sweet as this'. She wrote new lyrics for Christmas 1952. According to Ian Russell, this carol was always sung at Sheffield carol sings by a man called Wilf Daff. He was a remarkable tenor singer and when people joined in, his voice soared over the crowd. When Wilf stopped going, the song was taken over by Billy Mills from Lodge Moor.

Sing all ye people of the Earth today,
For Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day,
Ring out ye joyous bells of heaven ring.
For Christ is born.

Born in a stable bare, of humble birth,
Born of a virgin pure to dwell on Earth,
Let all mankind rejoice on this great day.
For Christ is born

He came to us that wars on Earth may cease,
He came to bring us hope and joy and peace,
Worship all nations at his feet today,
For Christ is born

Glory to God on high, we all will sing,
Glory and praise we render to our King,
Peace on Earth, good will to all this day.
For Christ is born

Coventry Carol

From the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors, 14th century; arranged by The Foxglove Trio

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child,
By, by, 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 do 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, lulla, thou little tiny child,
By, by, lully, lullay
Thou little tiny Child
By, by, lully, lullay.

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