The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Boars Head In Hand Bear I

For Christmas

Source: John Aubrey, Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme. Edited by James Britten. (London: Published for the Folk-Lore Society by W. Satchell, Peyton, and Co., 1881), p. 142. The original document by Aubrey dates to the 1680s or so.

See Notes on the Boar's Head Carol

John Aubrey, FRS (12 March 1626 7 June 1697)

Landsdowne MSS 231

See: Notes On The Boar's Head Carols

This song is sung on Christmas-day in the Hall at Queen's Coll. in Oxford, by one of the Taberders: but in the chorus all the Company doth assist.

The Boars Head in hand bear I
Bedeckt wth Bays and Rosemary,
And pray my Masters merry be
Quot estis in convivio.

Chorus.--Capus apri defero,
Reddens laudes Domino.

The Boars head as I understand
Is the bravest dish in all our land,
And thus bedeckt wth a gay Garland
Let us servire cantico.

Chor.--Caput apri, &c.

Our Steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss,
Which on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio.

Chor. -- Caput apri, &c.

Editor's Note:

A version from the same time frame is given by Anthony a Wood, 1660, quoted by Philip Bliss in a sheet privately printed in 1815, itself reprinted by Thomas Dibdin. See: The Boar's Head Carol - Wood, 1660 and Dibdin On The Boar's Head Carol.

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