The tree of life my soul hath seen

One of my favourite carols, a setting of anonymous words by Elizabeth Poston. It’s something about the leap in the voices in the third line of the verse.

Marion Kilkenny, a small, wiry woman with the face of an Eric Gill Madonna and a jawline a fighter would be proud of, used to sing this at Christmas and Easter in our church, her straight voice cutting through the darkness. Every time I see the actress Anne-Marie Duff, I’m reminded of her.

Here is an alternative setting, which is also beautiful and beautifully sung, if not quite as poignant as the usual version.

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