List of carols at the Nine Lessons and Carols, King's College Chapel
This is a list of carols performed at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College Chapel, Cambridge. The Festival is an annual church service held on Christmas Eve (24 December) at King's College Chapel in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The Nine Lessons, which are the same every year, are read by representatives of the college and of the City of Cambridge from the 1611 Authorized King James Version of the Bible.
The service is broadcast live in the United Kingdom on BBC Radio 4, and abroad on the BBC's overseas programmes as well; it is estimated that each year there are millions of listeners worldwide who listen to it live on the BBC World Service. In the UK, a recorded broadcast is also made on Christmas Day on BBC Radio 3. A television programme entitled Carols from King's which is pre-recorded in early or mid-December is shown on Christmas Eve in the UK on BBC Two and BBC Four.
In the table below, carols specially commissioned for the Choir of King's College Chapel are highlighted in green. To rearrange the table alphabetically or numerically by a particular column, click on the arrow symbol in the column heading.
|Title||Year of first performance||Lyricist||Composer||Notes|
|Adam Lay Ybounden||1955||15th century||Ord, Boris|
(O Come, All Ye Faithful)
|1918 and every year since||18th-century Latin, translated by Frederick Oakeley||Wade, John Francis|
|Alleluia! A New Work is Come on Hand||1966||15th century||Wishart, Peter Charles Arthur|
|The Angel Gabriel Descended to a Virgin||2002||15th–17th century||Holloway, Robin|
|The Angels
(Should you hear them singing among stars)
|1994||Taylor, John V.||Harvey, Jonathan|
|Angels from the Realms of Glory||1978||Montgomery, James||Old French tune, arranged by Philip Ledger|
|Away in a Manger||2005||19th century||Tavener, John|
|The Birthday of thy King
(Awake, glad heart, get up, and sing!)
|1988||Vaughan, Henry (adapted)||Sculthorpe, Peter|
|Carol of St. Steven||1989||W. Sandys' Christmas Carols (adapted)||Goehr, Alexander|
|A Child is Born in Bethlehem||1966||14th century Benedictine processional, translated by G.R. Woodward and others||Scheidt, Samuel|
|Christo Paremus Cantica||1993||15th century||Burrell, Diana|
|The Fayrfax Carol||1997||Early Tudor||Adès, Thomas|
|Frohlocket, ihr Völker auf Erden
(Rejoice, O Ye Peoples of the Earth)
|A Gathering||1991||Andrewes, Lancelot||Casken, John|
(Not yet shepherds the gilded kings)
|2003||Plaice, Stephen||Birtwistle, Harrison|
|Glory, Alleluia to the Christ Child!
(Out of the Orient Crystal Skies)
|[Unknown, sung 2008]||17th century||Bullard, A.|
|God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen||1919||English traditional||English traditional, arranged by David V. Willcocks|
|God would be Born in Thee
(Lo, in the Silent Night a Child in God is Born)
|2004||Silesius, Angelus||Bingham, Judith|
|Hark! The Herald Angels Sing||1918 and every year since||Wesley, Charles, and Whitefield, George||Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Jakob Ludwig Felix; descant by Stephen J. Cleobury|
|A Hymn to the Mother of God||[Unknown]||Liturgy of Saint Basil||Tavener, John|
|I Saw Three Ships||[Unknown]||Traditional English||Traditional English, arranged by Simon Preston|
|I Sing of a Maiden||1965||15th century||Berkeley, Lennox (also sung in a version by Patrick Hadley)|
|If Ye would Hear the Angels Sing||[Unknown, sung 2008]||Greenwell, D.||Tranchell, P.|
|Illuminare Jerusalem||1985||Bannatyne manuscript in John MacQueen; Winifred MacQueen (1972), A Choice of Scottish Verse, 1470–1570, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-09532-1 (adapted).||Weir, Judith|
|In Dulci Jubilo
(In Sweet Rejoicing)
|1918||14th-century German||de Pearsall, Robert Lucas; edited by Reginald Jacques|
|In Dulci Jubilo
(In Sweet Rejoicing)
|1988||14th-century German||Praetorius, Hieronymous|
|In the Bleak Midwinter||[Unknown]||Rossetti, Christina||Darke, Harold Edwin|
|In Wintertime
(When Thou wast born in wintertime)
|1983||Askwith, Betty||Berkeley, Lennox|
|Infant Holy, Infant Lowly||[Unknown, sung 2008]||Polish traditional, translated by Edith M.G. Reed||Polish traditional, arranged by Stephen J. Cleobury|
|King Herod and the Cock
(There was a star in David's land)
(Little lamb, who made thee?)
|1982||Blake, William||Tavener, John||Although the carol was first performed at the Festival in 1982, its première performance was given by the Winchester Cathedral Choir a few days before.|
(Jesu of a Maiden Thou wast Born)
|2006||Medieval English carol (adapted)||Turnage, Mark-Anthony|
|The Night when She First Gave Birth
|2008||Brecht, Bertolt, translated by Michael Hamburger||Muldowney, Dominic|
|Noël (Now comes the dawn)
(Stardust and vaporous light)
|2007||Gilder, Richard Watson||Dean, Brett|
|Nowel, Nowel, Holly Dark||1986||de la Mare, Walter||Bennett, Richard Rodney|
|Nowell Sing We Now All and Some||1984||Medieval||Medieval, edited by John Stevens|
|O Mercy Divine||2018||Wesley, Charles||Weir, Judith||Written to mark the centennial service in 2018.|
|On Christmas Day to My Heart||1999||Paman, Clement||Bennett, Richard Rodney|
|Once in Royal David's City||1918 and every year since||Alexander, Mrs. Cecil Frances||Gauntlett, Henry J.; arr. A. H. Mann, David Willcocks, Stephen Cleobury, et al.||Since 1919 this carol has always been the processional carol, with verse 1 sung unaccompanied by a boy soloist.|
|One Star, at Last
(Fix on one star)
|1984||Brown, George Mackay||Davies, Peter Maxwell|
|The Oxen
(Christmas Eve and twelve of the clock)
|1982||Hardy, Thomas||Radcliffe, Philip||Radcliffe was a longtime Fellow in Music of King's College.|
|Pilgrim Jesus
(Iesus! Christus! In the manger of my body)
|1996||Crossley-Holland, Kevin||Paulus, Stephen|
|Remember, O Thou Man||[Unknown, sung 2008]||16th century||Ravenscroft, Thomas|
|Seinte Marie Moder Milde||1995||13th-century manuscript in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge||MacMillan, James|
|A Spotless Rose is Blowing||2002||[Unknown]||Ledger, Philip|
|A Spotless Rose is Blowing||1929||15th-century German, translated by C. Winkworth||Howells, H.|
|Spring in Winter||2001||Smart, C., from Hymn &c: The Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ||Woolrich, John|
|Starry Night o'er Bethlehem||2004||Willcocks, Anne||Willcocks, David|
|Sweet Baby, Sleep! What Ails My Dear?
(Wither's Rocking Hymn)
|1933||Wither, George||Vaughan Williams, Ralph|
|Swetë Jesu||1992||13th century||Maw, Nicholas|
|There is No Rose||[Unknown]||15th-century English||Joubert, John|
|The Three Kings||1932||Cornelius, Carl August Peter and Nicolai, P.; translated by H.N. Bate||Cornelius, Carl August Peter; arranged by Ivor Atkins|
|The Three Kings||2000||Sayers, Dorothy L., from The Three Kings (1916)||Dove, Jonathan|
|Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day||[Unknown]||Traditional English||Gardner, John|
|Unto Us is Born a Son||[Unknown, sung 2008]||15th-century Latin, translated by G.R. Woodward||Piae Cantiones (Devout Songs), arranged by David V. Willcocks|
|Up Good Christen Folk||1918||Woodward, George Ratcliffe||Piae Cantiones (Devout Songs), arranged by G.R. Woodward||In the first service in 1918, this was the invitatory carol followed by "Once in Royal David's City"|
|Verbum Caro Factum Est
(The Word was Made Flesh)
|[Unknown]||John 1:14||Hassler, Leo|
(Wassail sing we in worship of Christ's Nativity)
|What Sweeter Music Can We Bring||1987||Herrick, Robert||Rutter, John|
|Winter Solstice Carol||1998||Swayne, Giles (English words); Magnificat antiphon for Christmas Day (Latin words)||Swayne, Giles|
|Богородиџе Дево радуйся, Благодатная Марие, Господь с Тобою
(Bogoroditse Dyevo – Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee)
|1990||Orthodox Liturgy (in Russian)||Pärt, Arvo|
- Nine lessons and carols: History of the service, King's College Chapel, archived from the original on 15 March 2008, retrieved 9 March 2008.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 1997, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 1997, archived from the original on 28 September 2006, retrieved 28 August 2008.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, 2008 (PDF), Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 24 December 2008, retrieved 16 December 2008.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 2002, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 2002, archived from the original on 17 November 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, 2005 (PDF), Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 24 December 2005, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2006, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 2003, King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 2003, archived from the original on 25 December 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 2004, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 2004, archived from the original on 17 January 2008, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 2001, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 2001, archived from the original on 9 December 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Jeremy Grimshaw, The Lamb, for chorus: Composition description, allmusic, retrieved 27 August 2008.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, 2006 (PDF), Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 24 December 2006, archived from the original (PDF) on 4 February 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, 2007 (PDF), Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 24 December 2007, archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011, retrieved 24 December 2007.
- "A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
- "Judith Weir - O Mercy Divine (2018) - Music Sales Classical". www.musicsalesclassical.com. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 1999, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 1999, archived from the original on 16 December 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- King's College Cambridge: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Nine Lessons and Carols 2000, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 2000, archived from the original on 8 August 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Nicholas Nash, King's College Chapel 1515-2015 Art, Music and Religion in Cambridge, Chapter XV "A Right Prelude to Christmas: A History of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols".
- Nine Lessons and Carols 1998, Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge, 1998, archived from the original on 13 August 2007, retrieved 1 January 2008.
- Cleobury, Stephen (December 1988), "Nine Lessons and Carols at King's: 70 Years On", The Musical Times, 129 (1750): 687 & 689, doi:10.2307/966672.
- Barnett, Laura (9 December 2006), "My week: Stephen Cleobury", The Daily Telegraph (Weekend)