Most of us have heard "Coventry Carol" play on our Christmas Pandora Radio Station this year, but little known of the carol other than its a Christian noel. The song was written to play in a collection of medieval plays in Coventry, England titled The Coventry Mystery Plays or Coventry Corpus Cristi Pageants (plays as such were performed to the common classes, as many could not read the Bible). Yes, they had Christmas pageants back in the 14th century. To this day, only two of the plays survived (historians predict there were dozens), one of which was called "The Shearmen and the Tailor's Pageant," a nativity play depicting the annunciation of Mary, the birth of Christ, and the massacre of the innocents (King Herod's orders to kill all male children under two years of age). In this very play the actors perform "Coventry Carol."
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago