Richard Lambert Music

There was sweet music (Op.48 No.5)

A carol for unaccompanied mixed voices (SATB)

Composed in 2019, this work for unaccompanied four-part choir is a setting of the 15th century carol more commonly known as I saw a maiden sitting and sing (Sloan Manuscript, British Library 2593). Whilst continuing the tradition of a gentle mother’s lullaby, this setting also focuses on the ‘sweet music’ of the angels celebrating the Holy Birth.


Lullay, lullay my dear son,
Lullay, lullay my sweeting,
My own dear dearing.

I saw a maiden sitting and sing,
She lulled her child, a little lording.

This very Lord, he made all things,
And this very God, the King of all kings.

There was sweet music at this child’s birth,
And heaven filled with angels, making much mirth.

Heaven’s angels sang to welcome the child
Now born of a maid, all undefiled.

Pray we and sing on this festal day,
That peace may dwell with us alway.

Words: 15th century English


You can purchase There was sweet music from Encore Publications.

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