The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Borys Hede That We Bryng Here

In Die Nativitatis

For Christmas

Alternate Titles: The Boar's Head, The Boris Hed, The Boris Hede, The Bores Heed
Compare: The Boar's Head Carol

See generally: Notes On The Boar's Head Carols

For Christmas

Words and Music attributed to Rev. Richard Smart (or Smerte), Rector (1435-1477) of Plymtree, Devon, and vicar-choral at Exeter Cathedral (1428-ca. 1466). The time of composition was during the reigns of Henry VII or VIII; it was found in the "Ritson Manuscript," British Library, MS. Addit 5665, fol. 5, v0.

Music: Attributed to Richard Smert, Devonshire, circa 15th Century.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q

Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
Tydyngs gode y thyngke to telle.

1. The borys hede that we bryng here
Be tokeneth a prince with oute pere,
Ys born' this day to bye vs dere,
                            Nowell.

2. A bore ys a souerayn beste,
And acceptable in euy feste,
So mote thys lord be to moste and leste,
                            Nowell.

3. This borys hede we bryng wt song
In worchyp of hym that thus sprang
Of a virgyne to redresse all wrong,
                            Nowell.

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."

Editor's Note:

For notes concerning this carol, please see The Boar's Head, That We Bring Here (Husk, 1868).

Copies of this carol on this site:

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