A Glee at Christmas

A little-known song for Christmas by Henry Lawes. This song, published in 1669, is a Christmas party song, with absolutely no religious content except the word “Christmas.”

’Tis Christmas now, ’tis Christmas now,
When Cato’s self would laugh,
And smoothing forth his wrinkled brow,
Gives liberty to Quaff,
To Dance, to Sing, to Sport and Play,
For ev’ry hour’s a holiday.

And for the Twelve days, let them pass
In mirth and jollity:
The Time doth call each Lad and Lass
That will be blithe and merry
Then Dance, and Sing, and Sport, and Play,
For ev’ry hour’s a holiday.

And from the Rising of the Sun
To th’Setting, cast off Cares;
’Tis time enough when Twelve is done
To think of our Affairs.
Then Dance, and Sing, and Sport, and Play,
For ev’ry hour’s a holiday.

Click on the image below for a PDF of sheet music for this song. The melody in the sheet music is Lawes’ melody; Lawes outlined a bass line to be played on theorbo or bass-viol, and I changed the rhythms of this slightly to fit the lyrics so bass voices could sing this part.

Tymbnail of sheet music for "A Glee at Christmas"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
18 + 23 =