> The Young Tradition > Songs > Lullay My Liking
> Shirley Collins > Songs > Lullay My Liking

Lullay My Liking

[ Roud - ; words trad., tune Gustav Holst]

In 1969, The Young Tradition split up while recording their album of Christmas songs with Shirley and Dolly Collins, The Holly Bears the Crown; and it was only in 1995 that the album was finally released. One of the carols on this album is Lullay My Liking, sung with Peter Bellamy in lead, It was also included in 2006 on the Free Reed anthology Midwinter. Shirley Collins and Heather Wood noted on the original album:

The words are from the 15th century Sloane MS [#2593, c.1430] in the British Library. No tune survived. This tune is by Gustav Holst.

Magpie Lane sang Lullay My Liking in 1995 on their Beautiful Jo album Wassail!. They noted:

A vision of the Virgin and Child. The words date back to the early 15th century; the tune is by Gustav Holst.

Kerfuffle sang Lullay My Liking, “based on Gustav Holst's setting of this medieval English text”, on their 2009 Midwinter album Lighten the Dark.

Melrose Quarter sang Lullay My Liking on their 2019 CD The Rudolph Variations. Note that their singing differs from the lyrics shown on their website, especially in the fourth verse.

Lyrics

The Young Tradition sing Lullay My Liking

I saw a fair maiden, sitten and sing:
She lulléd a little child, a sweeté lording.

Chorus (after each verse):
Lullay my liking, my dear son, my sweeting;
Lullay my dear heart, mine own dear darling.

That eternal lord is He that made allé thing;
Of allé lordés he is Lord of allé kingés King.

There was mickle melody at that childés birth:
Although they were in heaven’s bliss they madé mickle mirth.

Angels bright they sang that night and saiden to that child,
“"Blesséd be thou and so be she that is both meek and mild.”

Pray we now to that Child, and to His mother dear,
God grant them all His blessing that now makén cheer.

Kerfuffle sing Lullay My Liking

I saw a fair maiden sitten and sing,
She lullayed a little child, a sweete lording.

Chorus (after each verse, twice at the end):
Lullay, my liking, my dear son, my sweeting,
Lullay my dear heart, my own dear darling.

There was mickle melody at that childes birth,
Although they were in heaven's bliss, they made a mickle mirth.

Our eternal lord is He that made all of thing,
Of all the lordes He is Lord, of all the kinges King.

Angels brightly sang that night and saiden to the child,
“Blessed be thou, and so be she, that is both meek and mild.”

Melrose Quarter sing Lullay My Liking

I saw a fair maiden sitting and sing:
She lullayed her little child, her sweet lording

Chorus (after each verse):
Lullay my liking, my dear son, my sweeting;
Lullay my dear Heart, mine own dear darling.

That eternal lord is He that made all things;
Of all the lords He is Lord, of all the kings is King.

Angels bright they sang that night and saiden to that child
“Blessed be thou, and so be she, that is so meek and mild.”

There was mickle melody at that child's birth:
Although they were in heaven's bliss they made mickle mirth.

Pray we now to that child, and to His mother dear,
God grant them all good blessings that now maken cheer.

Acknowledgements

The Young Tradition's and Kerfuffle's lyrics were transcribed by Tim McElwaine.