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09 February 2013

What Sweeter Music (Rutter)









What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heav’nly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turn’d to May.

Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly shorn
Thus on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis he is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and lustre, public mirth,
To heaven and the under earth.

We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his show’rs
Turns all the patient ground to flowers,
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart,
Which we will give him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?

This carol was commissioned by King's College, Cambridge for Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in 1987.

Text: R. Herrick
Music: John Rutter (1987)

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