A Treasury of Christmas Carols



The Hymns and Carols
of Christmas

Song of the Angels - Bouguereau

"Song of the Angels," by Adolphe-William Bouguereau, 1881.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luke 2:8-14 KJV

Welcome to the heart of this site, the gateway to the Hymns and Carols of Christmas. From here you can access all the Christmas-tide songs that I've collected in the last 20+ years. Certainly there are many traditions such as the sending of Christmas Cards, and singing Christmas hymns and carols, that are well worth preserving. The purpose of this site is to preserve a rich tradition of Christmas carols and hymns that might otherwise be lost. This is the largest collection of hymns and carols of Christmas ever published in the English language.

Wherever possible, I attempt to provide the original, uncorrupted texts as first given by the author. In this desire, I am joined by the Late Lord Selborne, who explained his position in the Preface to The Book of Praise (1864).

This site is called "The Hymns and Carols of Christmas." Concerning the hymns see The Theology of Christmas Music by Dr. Robert A. Pyne.


Indices of the Hymns and Carols of Christmas:
A - B
| - C - |
D - G | - H - | I - J | K - L
M - N | - O - | P - R | - S - | - T - | U - Z


Full Index
Caution: Will Open Slowly On A Dial-up Connection

Non-English Carols and Hymns
Table of Contents

Latin Hymns of the Christian Church
Christmas-tide content from several collections, most with music, and which includes links to Latin hymn sources.


Dictionaries - Links to dictionaries of Old English, Middle English and Latin, plus other linguistic resources.

Some translations from the Latin can be found in Edith Rickert's Glossary.

On many pages, you will see links to "Noteworthy Composer files" and "XML files."
For more information about these two formats, see: NWC & XML.

Advent - Resources for the Season & Advent Hymns and Carols

Carol Services

Christmas Poetry And Prose


Please help spread the good news at Facebook about the over 4,100 Christmas hymns and carols at The Hymns and Carols of Christmas:



April 28, 2014.

It is with great pleasure, and a bit of sadness, to announce my retirement from the Hymns and Carols of Christmas, a website that I created in the year 2002. I am sad to be retiring as this website has been my primary activity for the last 12 years. But I'm pleased to announce that Mr. Richard Jordan has offered to take over the ownership of the site, thus guaranteeing its long-term existence.

Please see Founder Retires; Richard Jordan To Take Helm for additional details.


Tables of Contents

The notation "Text Only" means that the original collection contains just lyrics, and no music. However, many songs will have music from other collections.

J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century
London: The Leadenhall Press, E.C., ca. 1891.; With Music
Table of Contents

Thomas Wright, ed., Songs and Carols Printed From A Manuscript in the Sloane Collection in the British Museum
The Sloane Manuscript 2593 has been dated to the mid-15th Century.
(London: William Pickering, 1836).

Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century
The Percy Society, 1847; Text Only

Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century.
The Warton Club, 1856, Text Only

Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932; Text Only
Kele's Christmas Carolles

Thomas Wright, ed., Festive Songs Principally of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
London: Percy Society, 1848


John Wedderburn, ed., A Compendious Book of Godly and Spiritual Songs
Commonly Known as 'The Gude and Godlie Ballatis.'

Reprinted from the Edition of 1567, A. F. Mitchell, ed.
Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1897

Theodoricus Petri, Pić Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum
Griefswald, Sweden: 1582; With Music
And See: The Christmas Songs in Woodward's Pić Cantiones (1910)

Richard Leighton Greene, A Selection of English Carols
Prior to 1550.
(London: The Clarendon Press, 1962); Text Only; a limited selection, not the entire book.

New Carolls For This Merry Time of Christmas
London: Printed by J. M., 1661

Christmas Carols of Waddinge and Devereux
Bishop Luke Waddinge and Rev. William Devereux; Text Only
 Luke Wadding, A Small Garland of Pious & Godly Songs, 1684
William Devereux,
A New Garland, containing songs for Christmas, ca. 1730

Christmas-tide Hymns of Charles Wesley
Rev. Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788) - Text Only

William Knapp, Anthems for Christmas Day
London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744

Joseph Ritson, ed., Ancient Songs and Ballads From the Reign of King Henry the Second to the Revolution. 1790.
W. Carew Hazlitt, ed., Third Edition. Text Only
London: Reeves And Turner, 1877.
Repr. Detroit, MI: Singing Tree Press, 1968.

A Selection of Hymns for Christmas Day, 1814
To Be Sung at the Methodist New Chapel, Waltham Street, Hull
Hull: Topping & Dazson, 1814; Text Only

Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols (1822)
Some Ancient Christmas Carols (1823)
London: John Nichols And Son, 1822
Preface & Contents, with Music
London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823
Table Of Contents

Christmas Carols now annually Printed
From Chapter Three, Christmas Carols, of William Hone's Ancient Mysteries Described (1823)

William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern
London: Richard Beckley, 1833; With Limited Music

Christmas Play of Saint George
Table of Contents

Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols
London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931; With Music
Table of Contents

Anonymous, Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity,
London: John William Parker, 1833 (SPCK); Original Lyrics with Music

John Chandler, The Hymns of the Primitive Church
: John W. Parker, 1837
The primary source was the
Breviarium Parisiense, 1736

Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Printed From A Manuscript in the Sloane Collection in the British Museum
 London: William Pickering, 1836
Twenty songs and carols from Sloane MS 2593.

Isaac Williams, Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary
: J.G.F. & J. Rivington, 1839

Frances Elizabeth Cox, Sacred Hymns from the German
W. Pickering, 1841

Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books
The Percy Society,  1841; Text Only

Henrietta Joan Fry, Hymns of the Reformation
London: Charles Gilpin, 1845

Thomas Wright and James Orchard Halliwell, Reliquić Antiquć.
Two Volumes. London: John Russell Smith, 1845

C. Walters, A Good Christmas Box
C. Walters, 1847; Text Only

Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century
 London: The Percy Society, 1847
From "MS. Eng. poet. e. 1," now in  the Bodleian Library

Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols
London: Cramer, Beale & Co., 201, Regent Street, No Date (circa 1847); With Music
Table Of Contents

Thomas Wright, ed., Festive Songs Principally of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
London: Percy Society, 1848

William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music
London: John Russell Smith, 1852; Limited Music
A Mock Play
Christmas Play of St. George and the Dragon
Table of Contents

Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide
London: Novello, 1853; With Music from The Condensed Vocal Parts to the Carols for Christmas-tide (London: Novello, 1854).

Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century
London: The Warton Club, 1856
The complete Sloane MS 2593, from which 20 poems were reprinted in 1836 by Wright (above).

Catherine Winkworth, The Christmas Poems of Catherine Winkworth
From her Lyra Germanica, First & Second Series, and The Chorale Book for England

Rev. J. (John) Freeman Young, ed., Carols For Christmas Tide
New York: Daniel Dana, Jr., 1859; With Music
Earth Today Rejoices
Earthly Friends Will Change And Falter
Good Christian Men Rejoice
Good King Wenceslas
Here Is Joy For Every Age
Royal Day That Chasest Gloom
Silent Night, Holy Night - First Known Publication of this Famous Carol

Also see additional notes in
Hymns and Music For The Young - Parts One & Two - J. F. Young.

Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern
London: John Camden Hotten, 1861; Text Only
Reprinted by A. Wessels Company, New York, 1901 & 1905
Table of Contents and Introduction

John Henry Hopkins, Jr., Carols, Hymns and Songs
New York: Church Book Depository, 1863; With Music
The Angel Chorus
Evergreen, Holly And Laurel
The Christmas Tree
The Shepherds of Bethlehem
Three Kings Of Orient

Edmund Sedding, ed., Antient Carols for Christmas and Other Tides Arranged For Four Voices.  Second Edition.
 (London: Masters and Son, 1863).

John Clark Hollister, ed., The Sunday-School Service and Tune Book
New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1863, 1865; With Music

Book of Christmas Hymns
London: T. Nelson and Sons, 1868; Text Only

William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity
London: John Camden Hotten, 1868, reprinted by Norwood Editions, Norwood, PA, 1873; Text Only
Table of Contents

Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old
London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1867, 1871, & 1878; With Music
Introduction To The First Series, 1867
Introduction To The Second Series, 1871
Introduction To A Combined Volume 1871 (First and Second Series)

Introduction To A Combined Volume, 1878
(First, Second & Third Series)
Table of Contents

Bishop Richard Mant, Ancient Hymns from the Roman Breviary
To Which Is Added Additional Original Hymns
London: Rivingtons, 1871

Orby Shipley, Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year
London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884; Text Only

A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland: Carols and Poems From The Fifteenth Century To The Present Time
London: John C. Nimmo, 1885; Text Only

Table of Contents

J. H. Hopkins, Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young
New York: James Pott & Company, 1887; With Music

Table of Contents

John Freeman Young

Edgar Pettman, Modern Christmas Carols
London, 1893; With Music

Richard R. Chope, Carols for Use in Church
London: William Clowes & Sons, The Complete Edition, 1894; With Music
Table of Contents

Carol Services

George Ratcliffe Woodward., The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide
London: H. Grice, 1897.

Edgar Pettman, The Westminster Carol Book
London: Houghton & Co., 1899; With Music

Rev. John Brownlie, Christmas Hymns from The East
38 Translations from Six Collections, 1900-1913; Text Only

George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book
First Series, Expanded and Enlarged, Preface To First Series
London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., ca. 1902
Second Series, Preface To Second Series
London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., ca. 1912; With Music
Table Of Contents

Phillips Brooks, Christmas Songs and Easter Carols
New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1903; Text Only
Table of Contents

E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics
London: A. H. Bullen, 1907; Text Only

George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., Songs of Syon
London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908; Text Only

George Ratcliffe Woodward, ed., The Christmas Songs in Woodward's Pić Cantiones
 (London: Printed at the Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910)

Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols
London: Chatto & Windus, 1910; Text Only
Table of Contents


Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols
London: Novello & Co., 1911; With Music
Table of Content, Preface, and Introduction

Richard R. Terry, Twelve Christmas Carols
ondon: J. Curwen & Sons, Ltd., 1912; With Music

Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book
London: Mowbray & Co., Ltd.; With Music
First Series, 1913
Second Series, 1919
Combined Edition, 1938
Carol Service, 1947

Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
Boston: Parish Choir, 1916; With Music

Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, eds., An Italian Carol Book
London: The Faith Press, Ltd., 1920; With Music
Table of Contents and Preface

George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Babe of Bethlehem
Being Some Christmas Carols
Hillsgate Village, 1923; Text Only

Richard R. Terry, Old Christmas Carols. Part One.
London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., n.d., ca. 1923

Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cambridge Carol-Book
Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons
London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924; With Music

W. A. Pickard-Cambridge, A Collection of Dorset Carols
London: A. W. Ridley & Co., 1926; With Music
Table of Contents

This significant collection has been overlooked;
I would recommend this volume to the serious student of carols.

Ralph Dunstan, The Cornish Song Book (Lyver Canow Kernewek)
London: Reid Bros., Ltd., 1929; With Music
Introduction To Cornish Carols

Cornish Carols

Richard R. Terry, A Medieval Carol Book
London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932
Under Construction.

Richard R. Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols
London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933; With Music
Under Construction.

Roy Ringwald, Book Of American Carols
Penn State University, 2004

Dr. Steve H. Hakes, Lyricology Hub
A site devoted to making good songs better.

The Christmas-tide Carols of Shirley Erena Murray

The Carols of Paul Wigmore

Christmas Readings from the UK by Godfrey Rust

An Index of Notes to Carols



Christmas-tide Hymns from the Eastern Churches

Rev. John Mason Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862).

Rev. John Brownlie, Christmas Hymns from The East
38 Translations from Six Collections, 1900-1913; Text Only

Office of Christmas Day - St Cosmas - Richard Frederick Littledale, Offices From The Service Books of the Holy Eastern Church (1863)

Canons of Cosmas For Christmas Day - John Mason Neale, Hymns of the Eastern Church (1884)



Three very remarkable men in the 19th century compiled amongst themselves 16 invaluable collections of carols.



I. The collections of Thomas Wright (1810-1877) on this website include:

Also of interest to us from Mr. Wright (from the many which he edited) is:

  • Songs and Ballads, With Other Short Poems, Chiefly of the Reign of Philip and Mary (London: J. B. Nichols, 1860). Composed of 77 songs and ballads in 212 pages. For the Roxburghe Club, from a 16th Century Manuscript by Richard Sheale in the Library of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, MS. Ashm. No. 48. The reign of Queen Mary was from 1553-1558; she was succeed by her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I.

A biographical note: Thomas Wright at Wikipedia.


II. The collections of Rev. George Radcliffe Woodward (1848 – 1934) on this website include:

There are several other collections that received only limited circulation.

A biographical note: George R. Woodward at Wikipedia.


III. The collections of Rev. Richard Runciman Terry (1865- 1938) on this website include:

A biographical note: Richard R. Terry at Wikipedia.



  


150 years of "Silent Night, Holy Night"

William Emmett Studwell


Includes links to other sites and to Amazon.com for printed collections, histories, etc.

Sheet Music Sources & Christmas Recordings

William Hone, The Every Day Book
2 Vols.
London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827.

Brand's Popular Antiquities Of Great Britain
Selections from Hazlitt's Edition of 1905

What Is Meter?

Hymnals And Carol Collections

Excerpt from King Charles I's Proclamation of 9 Sept 1630:
A Proclamation for adjourning of part of Michaelmas Terme

Christmas Carols – William Hone (1823)

Christmas Carols now annually Printed - William Hone (1823)


The Bodleian Library Catalogue of Ballads

Broadside Ballads Online from the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

The English Broadside Ballad Archive, University of California, Santa Barbara


Early English Books Online: Search at Univ. of Michigan or Oxford


IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

ChoralWiki, the home of the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL)
Hosts free scores of nearly 21,000 choral and vocal works.

Please visit and support Project Gutenberg
An increasingly large treasury of texts.

Carols & Songs for Christmas from The Jubilate Group
Provides free access to hundreds of contemporary hymns and arrangements.


Ed de Moel, ed., The Child Ballads.


English Folk Dance and Song Society

Cecil Sharp House

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The Full English Digital Archive

Search the Full English
Browse the Full English


Christmas Classics™ Videos

Multi-media video presentations about favorite carols from Ron Clancy, author of the Christmas Classics™ series of beautifully illustrated Christmas carol books. These videos provide great history about the carols and the people who created them.

Some Feast Days During the Christmas-Tide

St. Nicholas
Feast Day: December 6
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus: A History

St Stephen
(December 26)

St. John The Evangelist
(December 27)

The Holy Innocents
(December 28)


A new almanack for the yeare of our Lorde God, M.D.LXXII. Calculated for the Meridian of Oxenforde
By Thomas Hyll, 1571
Showing the time for the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, general weather predictions, the seasons, Church feasts and festivals, and other information of value to citizens of the time. Easter occurred on April 1, and the first Sunday of Advent was Nov. 30.

hunt_1_18308_2448x2448.jpg (3463235 bytes)


Christmas Plays

Christmas Play of Saint George, from William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833)

 Christmas Play of St. George and the Dragon, from William Sandys, Christmas-tide: its History, Festivities and Carols (1852)

St. George He Was For England, from William Hone, Volume 2, the Every-Day Book (1827)
submitted by "W.S."

A Mock Play, from William Sandys, Christmas-tide: its History, Festivities and Carols (1852)

 A Mock Play, from William Hone, Volume 2, the Every-Day Book (1827)


Other Christmas Literature and Reference Works

A Little Book for Christmas - Cyrus Townsend Brady (1917)

A Righte Merrie Christmasse!!! - John Ashton (1894)

Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of England - Robert Bell (1857) (Text)

Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England - Robert Bell (PDF)

Another Easy Christmas Book - Ruth Putnam Kimball (PDF, Illustrated; Source: Internet Archive)

The Children's Book of Christmas Stories - Asa Don Dickinson and Ada M. Skinner

Christmas: Its Origin and Associations - William Francis Dawson (1902)

Christmas: Its Origin, Celebration and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse - Robert Haven Schauffler (1907)

Christmas Entertainments - Alice Maude Kellogg

Christmas In Legend And Story - Elva S. Smith and Alice I. Hazeltine (1915)

Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan - Clement A. Miles (1912)

Christmas Stories And Legends - Phebe A. Curtiss (1916) (Text)

The Doré Gallery of Bible Illustrations - Gustave Doré (1891)

Folk Lore of East Yorkshire - John Nicholson (1890)

Holiday Stories for Young People - Margaret E. Sangster

The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories For Children - Anonymous

Our Holidays: Their Meaning and Spirit - from St. Nicholas Magazine

Traditions, Superstitions, and Folklore - Charles Hardwick (1872)

Yule-Tide in Many Lands - Mary P. Pringle and Clara A. Urann (1916)


Holiday music brings holiday cheer!
Enhance your browsing experience!
Listen to streaming Christmas music.
Two of my favorites are ChristmasRadio.com and ChristmasBroadband.com

A large listing can be located at Web Radio.

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The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

© Copyright 1996, All Rights Reserved.

The Hymns and Carols of Christmas is not responsible for the content of external sites.

O sing to God your hymns of gladness,
Ye loving hearts your tribute pay;
Your Lord is born this happy day.

O Sing To God

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

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