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Trad Christmas songs for male voices

GUEST,Jeremy 04 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Oct 12 - 01:06 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Oct 12 - 01:08 PM
Geoff the Duck 05 Oct 12 - 03:50 AM
Mysha 05 Oct 12 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,Tatterfoal 05 Oct 12 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Longlankin 05 Oct 12 - 08:52 AM
Newport Boy 05 Oct 12 - 11:06 AM
Newport Boy 05 Oct 12 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 01:05 PM
MMario 05 Oct 12 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 01:13 PM
Artful Codger 05 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM
Geoff the Duck 05 Oct 12 - 02:25 PM
growler 05 Oct 12 - 03:29 PM
Artful Codger 05 Oct 12 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Tony 05 Oct 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 05:44 PM
CupOfTea 06 Oct 12 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Jeremy 06 Oct 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST 06 Oct 12 - 10:56 PM
Geoff the Duck 07 Oct 12 - 05:27 AM
Artful Codger 07 Oct 12 - 11:08 AM
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Subject: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,Jeremy
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM

Hello. I am looking for some traditional songs to sing at Christmas time. They are for a small group (six or seven) of male singers. It would be nice to find something a little offbeat, rather than the usual carols, and ideally more celebratory than overtly religious. All suggestions most welcome. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 01:06 PM

How about this one (link to a YouTube performance below lyrics):

Bring the New Year In : Pete Coe

In comes Old King Christmas, all dressed in green and gold
And may he never be forgot, his story left untold
For it's once a year he brings good cheer, our spirits to engage
The like was never seen before on any common stage:
   
        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.

In then comes Saint George, that noble champion bold
Who fought the fiery dragon, made the tyrant's blood run cold
And through this world he wanders to fulfil his destiny
Well, they must die who dare to try and challenge liberty:

        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.


In comes a valiant soldier, Prince Paradise by name
With sword and shield he will not yield, and hopes to win more fame
So it's of these noble champions, both born of high renown
And they have made a solemn vow to pull the order down:

        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.


And in then comes a doctor, as plainly doth appear
With bitter pills to cure all ills, he travels far and near
With his lotions and his potions, to ease us of our pain
And by his art he'll play his part, make heroes rise again:

        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.

In then comes Beelzebub, a name forever cursed
He's before you, he's behind you, he's the last that would be first
Put hands into your pockets, your money he do crave
To see this play you must pay, or join him in the grave:

        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.

In then comes a working man, they call him Common Jack
He puts food in our bellies, and clothes upon our back
Hard labor is his destiny, from the moment of his birth
And the rich take all the money, for the poor will take the earth:

        For we are not of the ragged sort, but some of royal trim
            We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.
        We'll sweep away the old year and bring the new year in.

Bring The New Year In

I think that would arrange really well for a group of male voices.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 01:08 PM

Sorry...I didn't see you were looking for something "Trad". It's relatively recent, I'm afraid!


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:50 AM

Difficult to beat Hail Smiling Morn for a belter of a song. Unusual in the fact that it doesn't actually mention Christmas, Heaven, God or anything religious (although in South Yorkshire the Gates of Day have somehow metamorphosed into Gates of Heaven).
Not Traditional as the composer is known, but old enough to count. Let's face it, most Christmas Carols have words, tune or both attributed to a known source.

Hail Smiling Morn - Wikipedia
As sheet music
As a MIDI - not the best midi of the tune I have heard, but a previous link I had is no longer active.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Mysha
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:00 AM

Oh. I don't know about that.

Any amount (up to 12), can always find a way to arrange Twelve Days of Christmas, a traditional in both senses of the word. And it even mentions Christmas (twelve times).

Bye


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,Tatterfoal
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:03 AM

Try the Ditchling Carol fairly appropriate for the times we are in.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,Longlankin
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 08:52 AM

The words of "While Shepherds Watched" is also traditionaly sung to the tune of "On Ilkley Moor" and would suit a male voice group.

Also "The Mistletoe Bough"


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Newport Boy
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:06 AM

I've sung "All Hail to the Days" ("Drive the Cold Winter Away") in recent years - only 4 or 6 of the 12 verses.

ALL HAIL TO THE DAYS

All hail to the days that merit more praise
Than all the rest of the year,
And welcome the nights that double delights
As well for the poor as the peer!
Good fortune attend each merry man's friend
That doth but the best that he may,
Forgetting old wrongs with carols and songs
To drive the cold winter away.

Tis ill for a mind to anger inclined
To think of small injuries now,
If wrath be to seek, do not lend her your cheek,
Nor let her inhabit thy brow.
Cross out of thy books malevolent looks,
Both beauty and youth's decay,
And wholly consort with mirth and with sport
To drive the cold winter away.

This time of the year is spent in good cheer,
And neighbours together do meet,
To sit by the fire, with friendly desire,
Each other in love to greet.
Old grudges forgot are put in the pot,
All sorrows aside they lay;
The old and the young doth carol this song,
To drive the cold winter away.

When Christmas' tide comes in like a bride,
With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year much mirth and good cheer
In every household is had.
The country guise is then to devise
Some gambols of Christmas play.
Whereat the young men do best that they can
To drive the cold winter away.


It's a great tune - ABC below (the first line repeat doesn't show clearly).

X: 1
T:Drive the cold winter away
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:3/8=110
F:http://jc.tzo.net/~jc/music/abc/Scotland/jig/DriveTheColdWinterAway.abc 2005-01-13 01:24:37 UT
K:Dm
D|"Dm"F>ED "Dm"A2d|"F"c>BA "F"f2F|"Gm"G2A "Bb"B>cB|"F"A6 ||
"Dm"d|"F"c>BA "F"c2c|"Gm"B>AG "Bb"B2B|"F"A>GF "Am"E2D|"F"f3-"Dm"f2d
|"F"c>BA "F"c2c|"Gm"B>AG "Bb"B2B|"F"A>GF "Am"E>DE|"Dm"D3-D2||

Phil


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Newport Boy
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:14 AM

I tried posting the above a number of times earlier, with no luck.

In case you want a fuller version, here's the full words from the original broadside (of which I have a scan). I tend to sing verses 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 & 11.


       Am          C       G          Am
All hail to the days that merit more praise
      Dm       F          E
Than all the rest of the year,
      Am          C          G       Am
And welcome the nights that double delights,
    Dm             F          E
As well for the poor as the peer!
       C       G          Dm          F
Good fortune attend each merry man's friend,
       Am            E          G (7)
That doth but the best that he may;
    C            G            Dm         F
Forgetting old wrongs, with carols and songs,
      C             E    Am
To drive the cold winter away.

Let misery pack, with a whip at his back,
   To the deep Tantalian flood;
In Lethe profound, let Envy be drown'd,
   That pines at another man's good;
Let sorrow's expense be banded from hence,
   All payments have greater delay,
We'll spend the long nights in cheerful delights,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

'Tis ill for a mind to anger inclined,
   To think of small injuries now;
If wrath be to seek, do not lend her thy cheek,
   Nor let her inherit thy brow.
Cross out of thy books malevolent looks,
   Both beauty and youth's decay,
And wholly consort, with mirth and with sport,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

The Court in her state, now opens her gate,
   And gives a free welcome to most;
The city likewise, though somewhat precise,
   Doth willingly part with her roast;
But yet by report, from city and court,
   The country will e'er gain the day;
More liquor is spent, and with better content,
To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

Our good gentry there, for cost do not spare,
   The Yeomanry fast not till Lent;
The farmers and such, think nothing too much,
   If they keep but to pay for their rent.
The poorest of all now do merrily call,
   When at a fit place they can stay,
For a song or a tale or a cup of good ale,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

Then none will allow of solitude now,
   But merrily greets the time,
To make it appear, of all the whole year,
   That this is accounted the prime;
December is seen, apparel'd in green,
   And January fresh as May
Comes dancing along, with a cup and a song,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

            THE SECOND PART

This time of the year is spent in good cheer,
   And neighbours together do meet,
To sit by the fire, with friendly desire,
   Each other in love to greet;
Old grudges forgot, are put in the pot,
   All sorrows aside they lay,
The old and the young do carol this song,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

Sisley and Nanny, more jocund than any,
   As blithe as the month of June,
Do carol and sing, like birds in the spring,
   No Nightingale sweeter in tune,
To bring in content, when summer is spent,
   In pleasant delight and play,
With mirth and good cheer, to end the whole year,
   And drive the cold winter away.
                And drive, &c.

The shepherd, the swain, do highly disdain
   To waste out their time in care,
And Clim of the Clough hath plenty enough,
   If he but a penny can spare
To spend at the night in joy and delight,
   Now after his labours all day,
For better than lands is the help of his hands,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

To mask and to mum kind neighbours will come,
   With wassels of nut-brown ale,
To drink and carouse, to all in the house,
   As merry as bucks in the dale;
Where cake, bread and cheese, is brought for your fees,
   To make you the longer stay
At the fire to warm, will do you no harm,
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

When Christmas's tide comes in like a bride,
   With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year, much mirth and good cheer,
   In every household is had;
The country guise is then to devise
   Some gambols of Christmas play,
Whereat the young men do the best that they can
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

When white bearded frost has threatened the worst
   And fallen from branch to briar,
Then time away calls from husbandry halls,
   And from the good countryman's fire,
Together to go to plow and to sow,
   To get us both food and array,
And thus with content the time we have spent
   To drive the cold winter away.
                To drive, &c.

As printed by W. H. Logan, The Pedlar's Pack of Ballads and Songs, pp. 293.
Reprinted from a Black Letter Copy in the Pepysian Collection;
'Printed at London by H. G.' -- [Henry Gosson.]


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:05 PM

Hello, Jeremy. You don't say whether you are looking for sophisticated songs with harmony parts or if unison will do. If unison will do, I suggests these:

Winter Wonderland
Jingle Bells
Silver Bells
White Christmas

and if the group can enunciate fast, "Sleigh Ride."


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: MMario
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:13 PM

For that matter I think I've seen harmony lines for all five of the ones Leeneia mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:13 PM

or Plan B. If you wish to be more artful than that, or if you wish to stay with music in the public domain, try this. This is a link to a page which describes online sheet music collections. (Well, that is what I googled, anyhow.)

http://library.duke.edu/music/sheetmusic/collections.html

Choose a collection and search it for titles with words like snow, winter, snow flake, snowflake, holly, etc. Then select pieces old enough so they are public domain.

Here at the Mudcat we use the Lester Levy site a lot.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Artful Codger
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM

For an exclusive, you could do my setting of "The Animals' Carol". Monique and I have also been putting online a bunch of 17th c. Provençal carols; Monique's also been providing singable French translations for them, in case you're daunted by Occitan pronunciation. Tunes are available from Monique's NDDD site or my respository in PDF form, in addition to the MIDIs linked in with each posted song.

Artful Codger


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 02:25 PM

GUEST,Longlankin - I agree with the suggestion, but must point out that Ilkley Moor was written to a tune for While Shepherds, not the other way round.
Threads concerning the South Yorkshire Carols will also list over twenty other tunes which the words of While Shepherds are sung to, including some with an added chorus (e.g.Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells).
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: growler
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:29 PM

Try 'The boar's Head Carol'.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Artful Codger
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:05 PM

I also secularized and expanded "Come Let Us Anew," a New Year song with words originally written by Charles Wesley. I don't recall whether I've posted my version online, but if not, give me your email addy and I can send a score and lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,Tony
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:41 PM

In the Bleak Midwinter
lyrics by Christina Rossetti, 1872
music by Gustav Holst, 1906

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan.
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long long ago.

There are more verses, but they're overtly religious.
James Taylor sings it on YouTube


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:44 PM

Jeremy?


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: CupOfTea
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 12:55 PM

For a large body of traditional material sung by male voices, it's hard to beat the repertoire of Noel Sing We Clear - multiple albums over a number of years, including a "best of" album. Not only a great selection, but sung and arranged with great skill and verve.

John Roberts, who posts here as Anglo, is a part of that fabulous quartet. The Noel Sing We Clear albums are always on my holiday rotation & a great inspiration for songs I want to learn. ("I heard from heaven today" is on my list for this year)

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST,Jeremy
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 05:41 PM

Thank you everyone for your suggestions - I wasn't expecting such a swift response!

Many things to think about... the Boar's Head Carol is exactly the right kind of thing.

Keep 'em coming!

Thanks again.

J


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 10:56 PM

How about Coope, Boyes and Simpson's "Garland of Carols"? Superb three-part all-male harmony.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 05:27 AM

Jeremy - on Mudcat it is not unusual to get a query answered within minutes of asking.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Trad Christmas songs for male voices
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 11:08 AM

As for "offbeat" carols, try this thread:

Not the Usual Christmas Songs


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