Corpus Christi Carol (2:57)

Cover of Grace

From Grace and 14 other releases

Corpus Christi Carol is a Middle or Early Modern English hymn (or carol), first found in a manuscript written around 1504 by an apprentice grocer named Richard Hill. The original writer of the carol remains anonymous.

The structure of the carol is seven stanzas, each with rhyming couplets. The use of seven stanzas probably has religious significance. Seven is a number that is considered perfect, which would make sense as Christ is mentioned in the seventh stanza. It is also interesting to note that the tense changes in the fifth stanza from past to present continuous.

Singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley included his interpretation of Britten’s work on his debut 1994 album, Grace. About his version Buckley said, “The ‘Carol’ is a fairytale about a falcon who takes the beloved of the singer to an orchard. The singer goes looking for her and arrives at a chamber where his beloved lies next to a bleeding knight and a tomb with Christ’s body in it.”

The song shows Jeff Buckley’s singing skill, Jeff demonstrating his huge vocal range.

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