Carol of the Hen

Moderate radio_button_checked radio_button_checked radio_button_checked radio_button_unchecked radio_button_unchecked
Instrumental Only?

SATB Choir (some divisi), Oboe (or organ solo stop), and Percussion ad lib. (Choir can be doubled on the organ). This is a new carol that has some great imagery, drawing from Luke 9 and 13. Easily learned and not difficult, the composer uses oboe and percussion to great effect. Scripture lessons referencing this carol also come up in Pentecost and Lent, as well as Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany making it a carol for all seasons! (Look at the eighth reading in Lessons and Carols.)

Dedicated to and recorded in performance by Griffin Choral Arts
Stephen J. Mulder, Artistic Director


Foxes have dens, and birds have their nests,
but the holy child sleeps homeless tonight.

In wint'ry gloom the fox goes forth
to dine on chicks newborn from brood,
in hopes to find the hen off guard,
and make her dear love envious food.

With brightness of the star as guide
the wily foe steals darkly on,
past shepherds and past sages, to,O,
more subtle than their wits alone.

Now almost there! Foul feast at hand,
full soon to snatch the innocent.
Yet not to be! With shelt'ring wings
the hen on righteous wrath is bent.

Outfoxing foxes is her skill.
She foils them with amazing might.
All Herods can but meet their match
when facing Love at its full height.

This enemy is but a fox:
not lion strong or eagle brave.
It stands no chance against Love's pow'r
to rescue hope, all chicks to save.

What means this carol fabulous?
What fox? What star? What chicks? What hen?
Rich myst'ry this poor manger holds:
Redeeming Grace beyond our ken!

Bless'd by the holy child sleeping homeless tonight,
now  sing we "Gloria in excelsis Deo!"