This year's commissioned carol for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge has been composed by Thea Musgrave. It is a setting of the William Blake poem 'Hear the voice of the Bard' (1794).
The composer said: "It was with the greatest pleasure that I accepted a commission to write a carol for the famous choir of King's College, Cambridge, and their conductor Stephen Cleobury.
"After much consideration I chose one of the poems from the Songs of Experience by William Blake.
"The poem speaks of how the 'Bard's Voice' calls out to the 'lapséd soul' and for the 'Holy Word' to renew the 'fallen light'. It also calls for the earth to return after a long night; for the dawn to come and so for the sun to reappear."
Musgrave has won numerous awards for her large and varied body of work and received a CBE in 2002. For more information see Thea Musgrave's website.
For more information about the Christmas Eve service see A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.