May Carillon Tune

The current carillon tune is a Welsh folksong called “The Ash Grove.” The original lyrics told the story of a sailor’s love for his sweetheart, who has passed away and is lying beneath “the shades of the lowly ash grove.”

Twentieth-century musician Katherine K. Davis set her text “Let All Things Now Living” to the tune, and it appears in many hymnals. The text relates how all of nature “sings” a song of thanksgiving to God, and it seems appropriate for this spring’s blooming of flowers and trees after a long Boston winter. Although born in Ohio, Davis spent most of her professional life in the Boston area. She studied at Wellesley, and later taught there and at New England Conservatory. She is buried in Littleton, MA.