The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Candlemas Eve Carol

Words: Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Music: Basque Melody, adapted by Edgar Pittman (1865-1943)
Chorus adapted by Gordon Hitchcock
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

1. Down with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the mistletoe ;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box, for show.

Thus times and seasons oft do shift; each thing his turn doth hold ;
New thoughts and things now do succeed, as former things grow old.

2. The holly hitherto did sway ;
Let box now domineer
Until the dancing Easter day,
Or Easter's eve appear. Refrain

3. Then youthful box which now hath grace
Your houses to renew ;
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crisped yew. Refrain

4. When yew is out, then birch comes in,
And many flowers beside ;
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin
To honour Whitsuntide. Refrain

5. Green rushes, then, and sweetest bents,
With cooler oaken boughs,
Come in for comely ornaments
To re-adorn the house. Refrain

Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1919), Carol #37
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

This version omits the verse found above.  Sorry.


See: Christmas Customs - Robert Herrick

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

Related Hymns and Carols