The Dilly Carol

The Dilly Carol

 

10562357495?profile=RESIZE_710x

 

I usually don't post vocal compositions here, since I don't have recordings of actual performances with words, but this song is one which many people are familiar with, so they may find my adaptation of interest.  Comments welcome.

(I don't know if anyone in this forum remembers the old Avengers TV series episode where Steed sings this song to himself to resist being taken over by a mind control machine.)

For SATB choir.

The audio file was created with software using choral ahs as a demo. so I have to hope people will be able to imagine an actual performance.  I haven't posted the score on the internet yet, but anyone who wants to see should send me a message.

The Dilly Carol0622.mp3

The Dilly Carol is a traditional song often sung as a Christmas carol, though as has long been noted by folklorists, it seems to have clear if confused pagan references. This song is attested in innumerable variants; its more familiar name is “Green grow the rushes,” but there also exist attested versions without that phrase. "The Dilly Carol” is the name often attached to a Cornish version. The lyrics in this version are culled from various traditional versions, with a few phrases of my own invention.

Please note that while this composition is based on a traditional song in the public domain, this adaptation is an original creative work under copyright.

For performance permission, please see my permissions page.

Words and music adapted from Songs and Ballads of the West by S. Baring-Gould (1892),
Pixie-Led in North Devon by Z. E. A. Wade (1895), The Journal of American Folklore vol. IV
No. XIV (1891), and English County Songs by L. Broadwood and J. Fuller-Maitland (1893).

Image: A Christmas Carol by Dante Gabriel Rossetti


I will sing you one-O.

What is your one-O?
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you two-O.
What is your two-O?
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you three-O.
What is your three-O?
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you four-O.
What is your four-O?
Four for the four bright shiners.
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you five-O.
What is your five-O?
Five, the ferryman in the boat,
Four for the four bright shiners.
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you six-O.
What is your six-O?
Six for the six proud walkers,
Five, the ferryman in the boat,
Four for the four bright shiners.
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you seven-O.
What is your seven-O?
Sev'n for the stars in heaven,
Six for the six proud walkers,
Five, the ferryman in the boat,
Four for the four bright shiners.
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you eight-O.
What is your eight-O?
Eight is the breaking of the morn when all the world's awake O.
Sev'n for the stars in heaven,
Six for the six proud walkers,
Five, the ferryman in the boat,
Four for the four bright shiners.
Three of them were wanderers.
Two, two the newborn babes, clothed all in green-O!
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so.
I will sing you nine-O.
What is your nine-O?
Nine, it is the Dilly Bird, that's never seen but heard, O,
Nine, it is the Dilly Bird, that's never seen but heard, O,
that's never seen but heard, O,
that's never seen but heard, O,
that's never seen but heard, O.

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –