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Lay for the Day
6th October

1536: William Tyndale, who had devoted his life to the creation of an English Bible, was executed for this crime in Vilvoorde, near Brussels. He was strangled and then his body was burnt.
Of the thousands of copies of the New Testament clandestinely printed by Tyndale and smuggled into England, only one survives. However, the complete English Bible published on the Continent in 1535 by Miles Coverdale, Tyndale’s collaborator, and issued in England in 1537 under the auspices of Henry VIII (“set forth with the king’s most gracious licence”), was substantially Tyndale’s writing. So too is a large portion of the best-known English Bible, the Authorised or King James Bible of 1611.

The Time

Say the time was at hand,
Say the time was at hand,
Well, who here would stand?

All the wicked shall fall,
The wicked shall fall
Who wouldn’t hear at all.

And the humble and the meek shall prevail,
The humble and the meek shall prevail
Though the earth itself should fail.

And the lovers of the human race,
The lovers of the human race
Will be speaking face to face.

Cause the saints are waiting in line,
The saints are waiting in line
For a shot of that holy wine.

Still they got us pressed down tight,
They’ve got us pressed down tight
But they can’t blow out the light.

And all that must burn,
All that must burn
Is all that won’t turn.

So pour me a drink of that water,
Pour me a drink of that water
And here’s to Jerusalem’s daughter.

Oh that water tastes so sweet,
That water tastes so sweet
On the sunny side of the street.

Oh that water tastes so sweet,
That water tastes so sweet,
Put you back on your dancing feet.

Words and music by The Children
From Songs from the Red Notebook

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar