Composer:   The Oxford Book of Carols
Arranger:   John Ireland
Publisher:   Oxford Press
Edition:   NA
Voicing:   SATB
Setting:   A Cappella


Dennis Marzolf
Bethany College, Mankato 1992
R&R Chair Community Choirs

The Oxford Book of Carols remains one of those treasures that gets richer each time we examine it. It is a gold mine of text and melody for the composer and arranger, and the carol settings contained therein are still worthy of our examination and use. John Ireland’s setting of this old text is straightforward. When a choir learns the melody together and sings it like an ancient “carol dance ” the setting takes on a new luster. I used the full chorus on the burden, and alternated stanzas between soloists and full chorus. It is easy to imagine this carol sung with tambourine and other percussive ornaments… maybe even some handbells and a “fiddle” descant!