Adam Lay Ybounden
Craig Phillips

Composer Craig Phillips
Text Anon., from the Sloane mss., ca. 1400.
Voicing SATB a cappella
Topics Christmas, Creation, Lessons & Carols
Price $2.50 (U.S.)
Released 10/23
Cat. no. 405-250
Difficulty Mod. Easy

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The Medieval text of this carol is a classic choice for the music to follow the first lesson in a traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Phillips's brief setting is marked "Lilting, with energy," moving from the E minor of the opening to a joyous final cadence in major.

Anthem text
Adam lay ybounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
Thought he not too long.

And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took.
As clerkes finden
Written in their book.

Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne had never Our Lady,
A-been heavene queen.

Blessed be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen,
Deo gracias!

-Anonymous, 15th cent.




review copy

"Upper voices (with divided sopranos) move in homophonic rhythm above a bass line that frequently operates in contrasting pace, creating a textured, unsteady effect. Traditional harmonic progressions are enlivened with unexpected twists, chromatic inflections, and entrancing dissonances. The culminating 'Deo gracias!' turns the haunting E minor of the carol toa shimmering E major, while the third relationship harmonies heighten the shift in tonality. This is a wonderful addition to Advent repertoires of a text ubiquitous with carol services." --AAM Journal, Jan./Feb. 2024


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