Today, December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. It is the day that the Church commemorates the Herod's slaughter of the young boys of Bethlehem, as he searched for and sought to kill the Infant Jesus. It also talks of the Holy Family's dramatic flight into Egypt.
William Southcombe Lloyd Webber CBE (1914 – 1982) was an English organist and composer, who achieved some fame as a part of the modern classical music movement whilst commercially facing mixed opportunities. Besides his long and prestigious career, composing works ranging from choral pieces to instrumental items and more, he is known for being the father of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
He also notably served as a teacher, instructing pupils on music theory at the Royal College of Music for many years until his death in 1982.
By the age of 14, William Lloyd Webber had already become a well-known organ recitalist, giving frequent performances at many churches and cathedrals throughout Great Britain. He won an organ scholarship to the Mercers' School, later winning a further scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and gained his FRCO diploma at nineteen.
He was organist of All Saints, Margaret Street, and later of Westminster Central Hall, both in London.
The "Coventry Carol" is an English Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. It was traditionally performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew: the carol itself refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed, and takes the form of a lullaby sung by mothers of the doomed children.
The text of the carol is given in the First Comment.
Photos of William Lloyd Webber are attached below, as well as some of the places at which he served, & a painting by Carlo Coppola.