A small group from work congregated last night to rehearse some carols that will be performed in the coffee lounge some lunchtime next week. I thought it might be fun - I haven't done organised carols since I was in the choir at school - and it was, even though for the first time I actually looked at the words of the Coventry Carol.
Sometimes I wish I was Jewish just so I could express it properly. Oy vey! The first hint is the cheery note at the bottom of the score: "This song is sung by the women of Bethlehem in the play, just before Herod's soldiers come in to slaughter their children." It's the ultimate lullaby. The women have obviously heard what's on the cards, and rather than flee they seem to have decided to hang around Bethlehem and see what happens. Though they already have a pretty good idea. Little donkeys and sweet singing in the choir this ain't.
Since what happened in Bethlehem once happens in places like Darfur every day, something like the Coventry Carol should be sung in every carol service. You know, just to keep us grounded.
The descendants of whoever wrote it went on to form Pink Floyd.