Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.
Words: Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1823-1895
Melody: Henry Gauntlett (1805-1876)
The audio CD for Nine Lessons & Carols just arrived from amazon.com and I'm thrilling to the pitch-perfect a capella voice of the boy chorister who opens the annual festival of readings and songs. Once in Royal David's City is a perennial choice for the processional hymn, the first stanza sung in a high-range solitary voice by the boy chorister chosen for the occasion. As the procession enters, the single voice is joined by others~~boy choristers and young men from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities.
A Christmas Eve tradition of the finest sort.
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge owes its existence to King Henry VI who, in founding the College in 1441, envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel, one of the jewels of Britain's cultural and architectural heritage.