This traditional carol comes out out of the American oral tradition. The directness to the text is emphasized by the beautiful melody in Mixolydian mode. In verse one, the harp takes on the trudging steps of Mary and Joseph in the desert, Bethlehem bound. The sharp accents in verse two imitate the sharpness of Judas' betrayal and depict the crucifixion. The women's voices in verse four lament with simplicity and pure tone. In general, the sense of this setting should be sensitive yet simple, showing great contrast from verse to verse. For mixed choir (SATB) and harp (or piano).