traditional Italian carol, arr. Charles Wood

Once, as I remember,
at the time of Yule,
after mid-December,
when it bloweth cool,
I overheard a Mother
was a-singing 'Sweet Jesu,
Lalulaylu, lalulaylu, lullay lalu.'

Near as man was able,
on my knee fell I,
in the Bethlehem stable
where the babe did lie,
and the Virgin mother,
was a-singing 'Sweet Jesu,
Lalulaylu, lalulaylu, lullay lalu.'

Ox and ass around him,
Courtier-like, did stand;
Fair white linen bound him,
spun by Mary's hand,
while the Virgin mother
was a-singing 'Sweet Jesu,
Lalulaylu, lalulaylu, lullay lalu.'

Ev'r among and o'er us
angel quire 'gan sang,
antiphons in chorus
to the newborn King.
Then the Virgin mother
fell a-singing 'Sweet Jesu,
Lalulaylu, lalulaylu, lullay lalu.'

© G. R. Woodward