The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Introduction To The First Series

Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols, New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1867)

The following collection of Christmas Carols, new and old, is put forth in the hope of providing a source, easily accessible, from which those who are so disposed may make choice of sound words, set to good music, and suited to the sacred season of our Lord's Nativity.

Considerable pains have been taken by the Editors and their friends to obtain traditional Carols hitherto unpublished, but without much success. For the greater part of the original matter here contained they are indebted to the kindness of those Composers, Authors, and Translators whose names appear in the Index: to whom, as well as to the friends before alluded to, they here offer their best thanks.

To these they have added, with two or three of their own, a selection of the best and most popular melodies in such collections as were at their disposal.

With this brief account of the purpose and nature of their undertaking they commend it to the hands of those orthodox lovers of music who desire to keep the Feast of Christmas with mirth which shall not overstep the bounds of reverence.

Editor's Note: The date of 1871 for publication of the First Series was a misreading. Percy Dearmer mentioned that a publication occurred in 1871. However, he was describing a combined publication of the First and Second Series. People have assumed that this represented the date of publication of both Series. However, it is clear from the Prefaces to the two Series that the First Series was published some time prior to the Second Series. It has been determined from other sources that the First Series was published in 1867, the Second Series in 1871, and the Third Series in 1878.

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