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Music: "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" as found in "The overthrow of proud Holofernes, However, the phrases "rest you merry" and "God rest you merry" were in common .. Studwell also noted a tune by Lewis Henry Redner ( ), the.
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According to the library web site, J. The broadside consists of four carols: It's Location is "HP H. The oldest printing of the "London" melody with lyrics that I've seen so far was in when it was included in the satirical A Political Christmas Carol by William Hone right.

GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN - arr. Heather Sorenson

Rimbault printed this melody in in his A Little Book of Christmas Carols , below note that Rimbault is erroneously said to have been the first to collect this melody. CDs and MP3s can be ordered on Amazon. The most frequently seen "second" tune is based on a folk melody from Cornwall in the west of England.

Richard Beckley, , pp. John Russell Smith, Other editors have often reproduced Sandys' tune, as, for example: The tunes were 1 one from Hone, and 2 one in a major key.


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It's likely that the "one from Hone" was the one published with his satire, A Political Christmas Carol. Chappell then prints the "London" tune from Dr. Rimbault's book, and the "Cornwall" tune from Sandys' collection. Vaughan Williams in the latter. The first tune in The Oxford Book of Carols is that given by Sandys in , which was the Cornwall variant from the 18th century. The first is the traditional "London" tune; the second comes Ralph Dunstan's The Cornish Song Book , and the third was based on the version printed by Sandys in and A Setting by Lewis Henry Redner.

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The Parish Choir, , Carol II, , p. God a-rest you all merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ our Saviour Was born on Christmas Day, For to save our souls from Satan's pow'r — Long time we've gone a-stray — Glad tidings of comfort and joy, and a joy! Concerning this version Frank Kidson noted:. This is a traditional Scarborough version of the ever popular carol. The old Leeds version has considerable resemblance to the Scarborough one. The tune above printed came to me many years ago from Mr. Additional settings are noted in the list below, and see God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen - Version 1 which contains this sheet music, plus arrangements from several other authorities.

In general, the variants are rarely heard. In sum, there seem to be several known melodies:. The traditional "London" tune, which is the first tune from EBC. Keyte and Parrott identify this as " Chestnut or Doves Figary " from Playford's The English Dancing Master , which formed the basis of the version from Bramley and Stainer , now the "standard" version which is heard. This is version two from OBC , and is used by numerous other carols according to the editors, and as listed by Rev.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (music by Redner) Sheet Music by Lewis Henry Redner

Bradley also reports that Albert Lancaster A. Lloyd has traced the tune as far back as The tune is characterized as a "luck" tune. There is also a setting from Cecil S. Sharp which is substantially similar to this tune. The setting from William Henry Husk , , which similar to Dunstan's, has the same first two stanzas, but diverge in the third and the refrain. A fifth tune , from Lewis H. Redner, was published by Charles H. Hardwig, The Wartburg Hymnal Sandys mentions it in passing in Christmastide - Chapter While we have the text, I haven't yet discovered a copy of the musical setting.

A large number of parodies have arisen over the years see below , including a few which cannot be reproduced on a family-safe site. Hunt and Clarke, , with the full title. The date of composition was In November , Lord Castlereagh had been the author of the repressive "Six Acts," Parliament's response to incidents which took place in Manchester the preceding August e. A later satire is a three-verse parody written by Gilbert Keith G. God rest you merry gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay; The Herald Angels cannot sing, The cops arrest them on the wing, And warn them of the docketing Of anything they say.

God rest you merry gentlemen, May nothing you dismay: On your reposeful cities lie Deep silence, broken only by The motor-horn's melodious cry, The hooter's happy bray. So, when the song of children ceased, And Herod was obeyed, In his high hall Corinthian With purple and with peacock fan, Rested that merry gentleman; And nothing him dismayed. This was Chesterton's response to a statement issued by the Chief Constable declaring that carol singing in the streets by children is illegal, and morally and physically injurious.

He appealed to the public to discourage the practice. And Other Verses , pp. A number of other satires and humorous parodies are noted below. Finally, this was not the only reference to a Christmas hymn or carol in A Christmas Carol. A Child of the Snows-Chesterton. Dinah Maria Mulock Craik; Music: Mowbray, Percy Dearmer, R.

Vaughan Williams, Martin Shaw, eds. Oxford University Press, John Camden Hotten, Charles L.

Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, eds. William Shakespeare , Romeo and Juliet: With Introduction and Notes By K. Edited with Notes by William J.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen at Stanton's Sheet Music Sound-Audio Clips

Sharp, English Folk-Carols London: Wessels Company, New York, This is the heavily edited edition originally published by "Joshua Sylvester" in , which is now available at Google Books. John Russell Smith, William L. Harrington Park Press, G. Walters, , Reprinted by Michael Raven, If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

The Punctuation The punctuation problem has to do with the comma. God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen The effect is to be wishing these "merry Gentlemen" a good rest — with the implication that they might have been being a bit "too merry" not an uncommon thing either then or now , and seeming to encourage a Bacchus-like celebration. Remember Christ our Saviour, Who was born on Christmas-day, This carol, then, is not an invitation to get "merry," but a blessing by the speaker that "God rest you merry. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen In contrast to the somewhat cynical understanding of blessing gentlemen who have been a bit to "merry," when we see "God Rest You, Merry Gentlemen," we can also see a simple blessing to these gentlemen, that God give them rest peace, joy, gladness, etc.

Act 2, Scene 8 But what do these assorted "rest you merry" phrases mean?


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Far from being a strictly contemporary greeting, "Have a good day" also has roots deep in our culture, as evidenced by a few of these very old Christmas carols: In Footnote 6 to Act 5, Scene 3, the editor explains: Caveat One last thing. The Texts Many authorities feel that the carol originated in the 16th Century, although not printed until the 18th Century. The other three carols were: The Music Joshua Sylvester, in , wrote that "This is perhaps the greatest favorite of all the carols now sung at Christmas. Fear not, then said the Angel, Let nothing you affright, This day is born a Savior, Of virtue, power, and might; 8 So frequently to vanquish all, The friends of Satan quite; 9 Chorus.

The shepherds at those tidings, Rejoiced much in mind, And left their flocks a feeding, In tempest, storm, and wind, And went to Bethlehem straightway, This blessed babe to find: But when to Bethlehem they came, Whereas this infant lay 11 They found him in a manger, Where oxen feed on hay; His mother Mary kneeling, 12 Unto the Lord did pray: With sudden joy and gladness 13 The shepherds were beguiled, To see the Babe if Israel, Before His mother mild, O then with joy and cheerfulness Rejoice, each mother's child. Now to the Lord sing praises, All you within this place, And with true love and brotherhood, Each other now embrace; This holy tide of Christmas, Doth bring redeeming grace.

God bless the ruler of this house, And send him long to reign, And many a merry Christmas May live to see again; Among your friends and kindred That live both far and near. That God send you a happy new year, Happy new year, And God send you a happy new year. University Press, , pp.

The account of the visit of the shepherds to the Christ child is found in Luke 2: Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott Oxford: Oxford University Press, , p. Jewry, the land of the Israelites. In Bethlehem, 'in Israel,' this blessed Babe was born Return. This day is born a Savior, Of 'a pure Virgin bright,' Return. Instead of 'friends', the original word may have been 'fiends. His mother Mary kneeling 'down,' Bramley and Stainer Return. The seventh and ninth verses are a later addition.

Penguin, , states that the ninth came from a broadside. Both are found in the Husk version. Husk only includes the first line of the chorus, above. This holy tide of Christmas, 'all other doth deface' Bramley and Stainer Return. Sheet Music from William Sandys , ed. Richard Beckley, , pp. John Russell Smith, Sheet Music from Edward F. Sheet Music from Rev. John Camden Hotten,