s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Christmas carols: Adam lay ybounden

Friday, May 08, 2009

Christmas carols: Adam lay ybounden

This text comes from a 15th century manuscript and has been set to music by a number of more modern composers, notably Boris Ord and Benjamin Britten, as part of his Ceremony of Carols.

Here are the words:

Adam lay ybounden, bounden in a bond,
Four thousand winter thoughte he not too long;
And al was for an apple, and apple that he took,
As clerkes finden writen, writen in hire book.
Ne hadde the apple taken been, the apple taken been,
Ne hadde nevere Oure Lady ybeen hevene Queen.
Blessed be the time that apple taken was:
Therfore we mown singen Deo Gratias.

For those who aren't used to dealing with Middle English, "ybounden" means "bound," and the whole text refers to the fall of Adam (who was redeemed by Christ).

Anderson Alumni Chorus (Hubert Bird setting), 2008:

Choir of King's College, Cambridge (Boris Ord setting), 2006:

The Musical Heirs (Benjamin Britten arrangement), 2008:

Bonus: Mediæval Bæbes:

This really just has to be seen to believed.


At May 08, 2009 6:02 PM, Blogger Logan said...


At May 11, 2009 12:02 PM, Blogger Redoubt said...

I'm familiar with the Medieval Baebes version, and I like it a lot.


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