Down in yon forest there stands a hall
covered all o’er in purple and pall
I heard paradise bells
but, no, I cannot tell
what this carol is about at all.
*pall = a dark cloth hung over a coffin or a hearse
This carol dates to the Renaissance period, but traces its roots back to a Middle English hymn or carol known as the CorpusChristi Carol – which some have suggested is connected to the Fisher King of Arthurian legend – others believe it may have something to do with Anne Boleyn, or that it’s an obscure allegory for the life of Christ.