Tag Archive: 0carols

Here we come a wassailing

Here we come a wassailing

20th December 2019

What better way to end our Christmas carol countdown than with a rousing round of ‘Here we come a wassailing‘? The words were first published in Husk’s book of carols in 1864 (which we blogged about this past Tuesday), whose sources included a Manchester chapbook and a broadside printed in Bradford, c.1850 (Keyte, p. 545). […]

This Endris Night

This Endris Night

19th December 2019

Today we are spotlighting the antiquary Thomas Wright (1810–1877), an ardent scholar of Old English, Middle English, and Anglo-Norman texts, and his book of carols: Songs and Carols, now first printed, from a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: Printed for the Percy Society, by Richards, 1847). The first edition contains ‘This Endris Night’ (ender = […]

A Booke of Christmas Carols

A Booke of Christmas Carols

18th December 2019

Today we will take a break from our series of ‘first appearances’ of carols to bring you a delightful early Victorian gift book, with chromolithographed illuminations throughout: Joseph Cundall’s A Booke of Christmas Carols, illuminated from Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, Henry G. Bohn, 1845): ‘After Pickering, the publisher with the most devoted […]

It came upon the midnight clear

It came upon the midnight clear

16th December 2019

As with many of our favourite Christmas carols, ‘It came upon the midnight clear’ first appears (with its tune) in a Victorian publication: Arthur Sullivan‘s Church Hymns with Tunes (London, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1874): ‘This fine Christmas hymn is a meditation on man’s wilful deafness to the message of the angels, and, not […]

We Three Kings of Orient are

We Three Kings of Orient are

13th December 2019

‘We Three Kings of Orient are’ has always been a crowd-pleaser (and a magnet for children who enjoy changing the words). An American carol, it first appeared on p. 12 of John Henry Hopkins‘s Carols, Hymns, and Songs (New York, Church Book Depository, [1863]): ‘Hopkins was rector of Christ’s Church, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, when he published […]

God rest ye merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry Gentlemen

12th December 2019

It’s Election Day in the UK and, as luck would have it, we have a political Christmas carol here in the office! According to Fuld, the music of ‘God rest you merry gentlemen’ ‘is said to have been in a broadside printed … about 1796, but no copy of the broadside has been found.  The […]