James Knox
James Knox
About the composer

Sheet Music

Thou Little Tiny Child - Choral score

Thou Little Tiny Child - Choral score

SM-000523794
ComposerJames Knox
PublisherJames Knox
Genre Classical / Choral music
Instrumentation Piano, Mixed choir
Scored forChoir
Type of scorePiano-vocal score
Key A minor
Duration 4'20"
LanguageEnglish
Difficulty Advanced
Year of composition 2021
Description
The Coventry Carol is an English Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was
traditionally performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called The Pageant of the
Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew:
the carol itself refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the
age of two in Bethlehem to be killed, and takes the form of a lullaby sung by mothers of the doomed
children.
The exact date of the text is unknown, though there are references to the Coventry guild pageants from
1392 onwards. The iteration of the song that we know today was likely composed in the 1530s and copied
down by Robert Croo, an organizer of that era’s pageants. The play covered the events from the
prophecies of Jesus’s birth, the Annunciation (the announcement from the Archangel Gabriel to the
Virgin Mary that she would give birth to the son of God), and finally the Massacre of the Innocents.
Though it still certainly is not among the most well-known of Christmas songs, “Coventry Carol” became
more widely known in 1940, after Coventry was bombed by the German Air Force during World War II.
On Christmas Day, the BBC broadcast the provost of the Coventry Cathedral giving a speech in which he
attempted to forgive those who had carried out the attack. Afterward, the choir sang “Coventry Carol” in
the cathedral’s ruins, with the song’s melancholy subject matter taking on new meaning.

Upload date 07 May 2021
Total downloads 3

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