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crowley_greene
11-18-2006, 02:17 PM
I've volunteered to spend a day in a citizen persona providing some violin and fiddle music at the Hunter-Dawson State Historical Site in Missouri on December 9, and I'd like to mix some period Christmas music into my repertoire.

Does anyone have information on what some favorite or most popular songs of the season might have been? Oh, I can easily enough find out what dates most Christmas carols and songs might have been written. But I just thought that some of you from your own readings might have some suggestions on what some favorite songs might have been. Right now, I can think of late 1700's and early 1800's pieces like "Silent Night", "Joy to the World", "Here We Come A-Wassailing", "Away in a Manger" (to an earlier melody that differed from the one we know more commonly today), "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing", "Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella", "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel", "What Child is This" ("Greensleeves") . . . Those are just a few period correct songs that come to mind at the moment.

Who can suggest more?

Murray Therrell
Paragould, AR

crowley_greene
11-18-2006, 10:11 PM
"Away in a Manger." While the melody I'm thinking of (I'd hum it, but that doesn't work too well on this forum) may be period correct, the lyrics to "Away in a Manger" weren't written until 1885 while the melody we're most familiar with today wasn't written until 1895. I'll take that one off the list.

Murray Therrell

jthlmnn
11-18-2006, 10:13 PM
I will suggest two: "The Cherry-Tree Carol" (Traditional Appalachian folk song)
and "Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming" (Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen).

Hope this helps

crowley_greene
11-18-2006, 10:22 PM
I will suggest two: "The Cherry-Tree Carol" (Traditional Appalachian folk song)
and "Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming" (Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen).

Thank you, John, two excellent suggestions. I had completely forgotten about "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming", dating from the Renaissance Period. And I'm certainly familiar enough with "The Cherry-Tree Carol" to play it.

Murray Therrell

bizzilizzit
11-18-2006, 10:37 PM
Who can suggest more?

Murray Therrell
Paragould, AR


O Tannenbaum
Jingle Bells
Here We Come a Wassailing
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Try this website as well:
http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/month/dec2000.html
Elizabeth

crowley_greene
11-19-2006, 03:32 PM
I have an album of Victorian Christmas carols that includes "Jingle Bells." The historic "Jingle Bells" differs somewhat from the version we hear today -- the refrain has a bit of a different melody, with more engaging twists of harmony. I may consider doing "Jingle Bells" in its original form, it may be of interest to some listeners.

Murray Therrell

8thILCavalry
11-29-2006, 02:22 AM
Lincoln Got Run Over By A Reindeer


No seriously: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen



.

VA Soldier
12-07-2006, 06:57 AM
You might want to look at Auld Lang Syne...written sometime in the 1700's, today its considered more of a New Years song, but that wasn't until the 1920's. Not sure on the dates, but you might want to look at the Holy and the Ivy, and Good King Wencelas

vmescher
12-07-2006, 10:16 AM
You might want to look at Auld Lang Syne...written sometime in the 1700's, today its considered more of a New Years song, but that wasn't until the 1920's. Not sure on the dates, but you might want to look at the Holy and the Ivy, and Good King Wencelas

I'm doing a Christmas program in Fairfax, VA on Sunday and found these carols with dates. On thing that I mention is that although the carols might have been around, it would depend upon what church one belonged to or what region one came from as to whether or not a particular carol was sung. They were not all universally sung as we do today.

I'm sure that these are not the only ones but are a representative sample.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Charles Welsey 1739
Tune Felix Mendelssohn 1859

Joy to the World - Issac Watts 1719 (Psalm 98)

Angels We Have Heard on High - Traditional French Carol

O Come All Ye Faithful - Latin Hymn 18th century Translated from Latin to English in 1853 by Fredrick Oakley

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - English Traditional

Oh, Holy Night - M. Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure - 1847

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night - Nahum Tate - 1700

Silent Night, Holy Night - Joseph Mohr - 1818

I Heard Bells on Christmas Day - Henry W. Longfellow - Dec. 25, 1863

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - 1851

We Three Kings of Orient Are - 1859

The One Horse Open Sleigh - Oliver Ditson 1857 Originally a Thanksgiving song but in 1859 the title was changed to Jingle Bells.

Deck the Halls - Traditional Welsh melody and works added in the mid-19th century

The First Noel - first appeared in print in English in 1833.

Twelve Days of Christmas - appeared in print in 1790

What Child is This - William Chatterton Dix - 1865 set to the tune of Greensleeves.

cookiemom
12-07-2006, 12:08 PM
... although the carols might have been around, it would depend upon what church one belonged to or what region one came from as to whether or not a particular carol was sung...
My favorite has always been The Wexford Carol, which dates back to 12th century Ireland.

http://www.michaellondra.com/cdxmas/assets/wexford_carol.html

http://www.of-ireland.info/holidays/carols.html


[carol -- v. 1. to celebrate in song, 2. to sing joyously; n. a song of joy (from 13th century Old French 'carole')]

Carole
who tries to live up to the name... :rolleyes:

crowley_greene
12-07-2006, 03:15 PM
Yes! I have a list of some 20 carols or so that would be date correct for the middle 1800's, but I had completely overlooked "Good King Wenceslas"! I will definitely add that one to the repertoire for Saturday. I'm a *little* familiar with "The Wexford Carol" -- I have an instrumental version on a CD of old carols. I'll listen to it more closely tomorrow.

pvt t a white
12-08-2006, 06:42 AM
Brother Murray:

Homespun Songs of the Christmas Season by Bobby Horton have a good selection of the popular tunes during the WBTS - on both sides. The CD contains 28 instrumentals played as close as they would have been heard 140 years ago.

The CD ISBN # is 1-882604-22-9

Merry Christmas

Pvt T A White

eric marten
07-30-2007, 10:01 AM
I'm kind of late into this discussion, but here's a suggestion for next Christmas: An old English jig, entitled "The Female Saylor", also developed into a Christmas Carol entitled "Masters In This Hall" I play it year - round, and especially at Christmas. It goes back to the early 18th century.

Eric Marten

MDRebCAv
07-30-2007, 01:01 PM
"Away in a Manger." While the melody I'm thinking of (I'd hum it, but that doesn't work too well on this forum) may be period correct, the lyrics to "Away in a Manger" weren't written until 1885 while the melody we're most familiar with today wasn't written until 1895. I'll take that one off the list.

Murray Therrell

Is the tune you are thinking of similar to the melody for "Afton Water?"

Linda Trent
07-31-2007, 04:58 PM
The following are primarily Methodist Episcopal songs as that's what I tend to portray. Of the following books the Trent Library :) contains:


The Church Singer, 1863 NY & Cincinnati. note: The Church Singer while written primarily for ME Congregations states in the opening pages: "The musical tastes and wants of no single class of persons have been regarded exclusively; but the collection embraces the standard tunes in general use among all Evangelical Denominations."

The New Lute of Zion: A Collection of Sacred Music, Designed for the Use of Congregations Generally, but more especially The Methodist Episcopal Church. By I. B. Woodbury.

1812 Methodist Episcopal Pocket Hymnal. This and the two aforementioned books are all originals.


I also have access to, but did not use in this post -- Sacred Songs for Family and Social Worship. American Tract Society, NY., 1842 (original) located in the archives of our local Methodist church, in Gallipolis. If you need me to, the next time I have an opportunity to stop in I can to look at it.

William and Sandy's book. Christmas Carols, ancient and modern, London, 1833. Was reprinted in the second half of the 20th century and I was able to get it interlibrary loan. It does contain the music to many of the songs, though in most cases it is not the same as we have today. Some have subtle differences and others have dramatic differences.



Early hymnals did not tend to have both words and music. They tended to save paper by having words and gave the meter to which a song was commonly sung. CM "common meter," etc. Once you know the names of the tune you can also obtain, via interlibrary loan, John Wyeth's "Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, 1820

The following are Christmas related songs:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - A.K.A. "Peace on Earth" 4 lines 7s. -- source: The Church Singer, 1863 NY & Cincinnati A.K.A. "Maidstone" 7s source: The Methodist Pocket Hymn Book, 1812.

Joy to the World - A.K.A. "Antioch" C.M source: The New Lute of Zion NY: Woodbury, IB 1856.

Angels We Have Heard on High - According to Wikipedia (and other sources on the web) "It is most commonly sung to the hymn tune "Gloria", as arranged by Edward Shippen Barnes," (1887-1958) and "Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick." Tune would not be period correct.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Source William and Sandy's book; Christmas Carols, ancient and modern, 1833 London -- I was able to interlibrary loan this book.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night - A.K.A. "Glad Tidings" CM source: The Church Singer, 1863 NY & Cincinnati, again it's a different tune than I'm used to today. original in my possession. A.K.A. "Cyprus" source: The Methodist Pocket Hymn Book, 1812, original in my possession.

I Heard Bells on Christmas Day - Henry W. Longfellow - Dec. 25, 1863 originally just a poem and not set to tune till later. The version that we sing today was composed by Johnny Marks (of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer fame). The poem was also rearranged to become a Christmas song by having the 4th and 5th stanzas removed and moving the 3rd stanza to the end to give it a joyful ending.

Deck the Halls - The first English version appeared in The Franklin Square Song Collection edited by J. P. McCaskey in 1881. Exact origin and such is unknown, some believe it's centuries older, and some believe it's much more recent even late Victorian.

The First Noel - William and Sandy's book; Christmas Carols, ancient and modern, 1833 London, different tune.

Twelve Days of Christmas - There were various versions of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in existence, but the version that we know today is by J.O. Helliwell, who wrote it while living in England. Helliwell's words did appear in an 1856 Ladies' Repository, where it was listed as an English schoolboy chant and no tune or music accompanied the words. According to the book, Merry Christmas, this song was rarely heard in the United States until it became popular in the 1940s. (Stevens, Patricia Bunning, Merry Christmas: A History of the Holidays (NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1979. p. 149.


The One Horse Open Sleigh - Oliver Ditson 1857 Originally a Thanksgiving song but in 1859 the title was changed to Jingle Bells.

Actually that was published by O. Ditson in 1857, but written by James Pierpont, in 1857. The original sheet music for the song is on Levy Sheet Music Levy Call Number: Box 062, Item 044 Title: The One Horse Open Sleigh. Song and Chorus. Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Written and Composed by J. Peirpont. Publication:Boston : Oliver Ditson & Co., 277 Washington St. Date:1857 http://levy-test.dkc.jhu.edu/otcgi/llscgi60 The song is quite familiar till you reach the chorus.


What Child is This - William Chatterton Dix - 1865 set to the tune of Greensleeves.

Post war, and British to boot. ;-)

Oh, Holy Night - It was translated into English by Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of Dwight's Journal of Music in 1855 (note the abolitionist reference in the third verse: "for the slave is our brother") How popular it was I dunno, probably not very in the south. :-)

All Glory to God in the Sky A.K.A. "Bethlehem" 8 lines 8s source: The Church Singer, 1863

All hail! Happy day. A.K.A. "Immanuel's Birth" 11,9,11,9 source: The Church Singer, 1863 A.K.A. "West-Street" 5,6,9,5,6,9 The Methodist Pocket Hymn Book, 1812

Angels, from the realms of Glory A.K.A. "Messiah's Birth." 87, 87, 47. source: The Church Singer, 1863

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning A.K.A. "Star in the East" 11,10,11,10 source: The Church Singer, 1863

Father, Our Hearts We Lift A.K.A. "Mount Ephraim." S.M. source: The Church Singer, 1863

Shepherds, rejoice, lift up your eyes A.K.A. "Hephzibah" source: The Methodist Pocket Hymn Book, 1812.

Hope this helps some,

Linda.

Micah Trent
08-01-2007, 02:41 PM
I enjoy "Good King Wenceslas". Beautiful when played by brass bands.;)

jerryeberg
11-22-2007, 09:02 PM
My Civil War Club and I want to do a Victorian Holiday Caroling Night around GVSU's campus. Woo hoo, I can't wait!
But, I want to avoid as many complications as possible, so (and please don't complain to me about this) I'd like to use as many non-religious songs as possible. The ones I have so far are...

Jingle Bells (dashing through the snow)
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Good King Wenceslas
Auld Lang Syne
Deck the Halls

Does anyone know any more? Thanks a lot.

I'm also not sure if these are accurate, I'll have to do more research...
We wish you a merry Christmas
Twelve Days of Christmas
Oh christmastree (in english)

amity
11-22-2007, 10:23 PM
There is an excellent and well researched book called _An American Christmas Harp_ compiled by Karen Willard. I really recommend it. These are songs by American born composers with a Christmas theme. I would imagine none are any newer than the Civil War, some go back to Revolutionary War days or even older. The thing is, most "Christmas carols" were not conceived of as Christmas songs, but were sung at any time of the year during the period of course.

Deck the Halls is a Welsh tune that goes back a long way, but with different words.
Someone mentioned recently that the Jingle Bells words were sung with a different tune during the period.
Here We Come A-Wassailing and Good King Wenceslas I would stay well away from these two unless I could document them from the period. Something tells me they are "ethnic" and would not have been known by most Americans. If I am wrong, please let me know source and I will definitely add them to my list. They are great songs.
Auld Lang Syne - This is a perfectly appropriate old tune popularized in American shape note songbooks called Plenary. Look for a period arrangement (The Sacred Harp has a good one), although you may or may not find one with the Auld Lang Syne words. You would not believe what the more commonly sung lyrics were if I told you. Oh well, the first line is "Hark from the tomb a doleful sound, my ears attend the cry. Ye living men, come view the ground where you must shortly lie." Hardly Christmas. It was just a regular hymn.

Period songs I know of:
Star in the East - A William Walker tune, try the Southern Harmony, published in 1835, repub. I think 1856.
Babe of Bethlehem - Another Walker tune, same source.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/walker/harmony/files/harmony.html

A song mentioned earlier by someone else with words "Shepherds rejoice, lift up your eyes" sung to tune of Oxford. Sacred Harp has period arrangement.
Words "While Shepherds watched their flocks by night" sung to tune of Sherburne, also in Sacred Harp.
http://digital.lib.msu.edu/collections/index.cfm?action=view&TitleID=610&Format=jpg

George Root tune called _Shining Shore_ sung with words "Hail, Promised Morn."
Joy to the World is good. The tune it is usually set to today is called _Antioch_ and was written in 1833 by Lowell Mason. Words of course by my beloved Isaac Watts early 1700s. I assume they were likely combined during the period.
Silent Night - Caution here. The words are old, and the tune is old, but the words were originally German and not translated into English until 1863. How much later first published/popularized I am not sure.
Hark the Herald Angels, original words were "Hark how all the welkin rings" good old C. Wesley hymn. Further investigation might turn up the "modern" words in a period hymnal, I don't know. I guess Linda T. has already found them.

Please look for period arrangements. The harmonies could be quite different than what we are used to today. Also, you might first try to document caroling to the time and place in question. Not sure how widespread this custom was?

amity
11-22-2007, 11:27 PM
Whole bunch of period hymnals here, especially on pages 2 and 3 of this listing. I am sure there are quite a few Christmas themed songs. Click on title page images for entire book:
http://books.google.com/books?as_list=BDWJNNIYQ4prRseiV76u5ARoUVYAhgmnEz5O __U2Y4RoncWyaylc

For "O come, o come, Emmanuel" I would try to find a period source. I have only seen "Draw nigh, draw nigh, Emmanuel." Cyber Hymnal says it was first translated into English in a book called _Medieval Hymns_ in 1851, so might not have entered into the American consciousness whatsoever by then.

eric marten
11-23-2007, 04:30 PM
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear - Written by Rev. Edmund Sears of Massauchesetts in 1849 The tune was arranged by Uzziah Christopher Burnap from an organ study by Richard Storrs Willis.
Silent Night (Stille Nacht) 1818 Franz Gruber, Oberndorf, Austria ---- Once in Royal David's City - Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander and Henry John Gauntlett of England -1848
Deck The Halls first appeared as Nos Galan (Welsh for New Years Eve) in 1784 - wasn't called Deck the Halls until 1881
We Three Kings - John Henry Hopkins of Pennsylvania in 1865 - for a men's trio. Kind of late for our period.
What Child Is This - written by William Chatterton Dix in
1865 to the ancient English tune Greensleeves
Wassail Song is too late for our focus - first printed in 1871
O Come O Come Emmanuel origin of the text goes back to reign of Charlemagne 771-815 - The current form of the melody is from a fifteenth century Franciscan processional
Thats a few - if I can come up with others, I'll post

Eric Marten