The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Sheet Music to the Boars Head Carols

See: Notes On The Boar's Head Carols

Editor's Note:

This page consolidates all of the public domain sheet music that I have found, so far. Undoubtedly, there is additional sheet music in the public domain of which I am unaware, and likewise, sheet music that is under copyright (see Sheet Music Sources). Where the original music is lost, any song can be matched to existing music that has the same meter. Of course, it would be best to match the musical rhythms with the literary rhythms, and to find a tune which has the correct mood ó distinguishing a lullaby from a jig, for example.  On this topic, please see: What Is Meter?

I. The Boar His Head In Hand I Bring (Husk, Songs of the Nativity) - No sheet music found yet.

Also The boris hede in hond I bryng (Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, 1841)

The Boar's Head In Hand I Bring (Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern, 1861)

The Boris Hed In Hondes I Brynge - Balliol MS 354 (Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of English Carols, 1962)

The Bores Hede In Hondes I Bringe (Chambers and Sidgwick, Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907)

 

II. Tidings I Bring You For To Tell (Husk) - No sheet music found yet.

Also Tydynges I Bryng 3ow For To Tell (Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century, 1847)

 

III. At The Beginning Of The Meat (Husk) - No sheet music found yet.

Also At The Begynnyng Of The Mete (Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century, 1847)

 

IV. The Boar's Head In Hand Bring I (The Early Version from Husk)

and

V. The Boarís Head In Hand Bring I (The Later Version from Husk)

Also The Bores Heed In Hand Bring I (William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, 1833)

The Boar's Head In Hand Bear I (Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, 1841) as sung at Queen's College, Oxford

The bores heed in hande bring I - Version 2 (Middle English from Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, 1841)

The Boar's Head In Hand Bear I (William Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time, 1859; with music)

The Boar's Head In Hand Bring I (Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern, 1861)

The bores heed in hande bring I (Blackletter) (Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted, 1932)

Sheet Music from William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #36
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Sheet Music from Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols. London: Cramer, Beale & Co., 201, Regent Street, No Date (circa 1863).
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

 

Sheet Music from William Wallace Fyfe, Christmas: It's Customs And Carols (London: James Blackwood, 1863), pp. 175-176.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

boars_head-fyfe-p175.jpg (76993 bytes) boars_head-fyfe-p176.jpg (77507 bytes)

Sheet Music from John Richard Magrath, The Queen's College. Vol. 1 of 2 (1341-1646) (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1921), pp. 240-241.

boars_head-magrath-queens_college-v2-240c2.jpg (18560 bytes) boars_head-magrath-queens_college-v2-241-c2.jpg (36035 bytes)

Source: Christmas Carols, William Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time. (London: Chappell & Co., 1859), pp. 750-758.
"From Dr. Rimbaultís Little Book of Christmas Carols."

MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

757-Music.jpg (277476 bytes)

Nathan Boughton Warren, The Holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; together with the May-day (Troy, NY: H. B. Nims and Company, 1876). The carol with music arranged by Rimbault is found on pp. 230 and 231.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

boars_head-warren-holidays-1876-p1.jpg (71756 bytes) boars_head-warren-holidays-1876-p2.jpg (103802 bytes)

 

VI. The Boar's Head, That We Bring Here (Husk)

Also The Borys Hede That We Bryng Here (Joseph Ritson, Observations on the Three First Volumes of the History of English Poetry, 1782, and Ritson, Ancient Songs and Ballads From the Reign of King Henry the Second to the Revolution, 1790)

The Borys Hede That We Bryng Here (William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, 1833) and

The borys hede that we bryng here (Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, 1841).

Sheet Music from John Stafford Smith, Musica Antiqua. Vol. 1. (London: Printed & Sold by Preston, 1812), #22.

Borys_heed-Smith-Musica_Antiqua-Vol_1-p22.jpg (128797 bytes)

Sheet music from Edmonstoune Duncan, The Story of the Carol (London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1911), pp. 188-189 ("with thanks to Dr. John Speller")
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

In this version, the first line of the first verse reads:
"The boar's head that I bring here."

 

VII. The Boar Is Dead (Husk) as sung at St. John's College, Oxford, in 1607

Also The Boare Is Dead (William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, 1833) and

The Boare is dead (Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols, 1841)

Sheet Music from William Wallace Fyfe, Christmas: It's Customs And Carols (London: James Blackwood, 1863), pp. 177-178.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

boars_head-fyfe-p177.jpg (80843 bytes) boars_head-fyfe-p178.jpg (65615 bytes)

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