The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Deck The Hall With Holly

See: Deck The Hall
Deck the Hall With Boughs of Holly

Soon The Hoar Old Year Will Leave Us

Words: “Nos Galan” by John Ceiriog Hughes.

Music: Old Welsh Air
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer /

Source: J. P. McCaskey, ed., Franklin Square Song Collection, No. 1. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881, p. 120.

1. Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
     Fa la la la la, la la la la,
'Tis the season to be jolly,
     Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Don we now our gay apparel,1
Troll the ancient Christmas2 carol,
     Fa la la la la, la la la la.

2. See the blazing yule before us,3
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la,
Strike the harp and join the chorus,
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Follow me in merry measure,
While I tell of Christmas treasure,
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

3. Fast away the old year passes,
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la,
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses,5
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Sing we joyous all together,6 
Heedless of the wind and weather,
     Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la


1. Or: Fill the mead cup, drain the barrel. Return

2. Or: Troll the ancient Yuletide carol. Return

3. Or: See the flowing bowl before us. Return

4. Or: While I tell of Yuletide treasure, or of beauty's treasure, Return

5. Or: Hail the new year, lads and lasses, Return

6. Or: Sing we joyously together, or Laughing, quaffing all together. Return

Sheet Music from J. P. McCaskey, ed., Franklin Square Song Collection, No. 1. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881, p. 120.


See A Garritan Community Christmas for an MP3:
Deck the Halls, Fabio Vicentini

Editor's Note:

The commas in the "Fa la la la ..." portions of the verses were added by me; there's enough of them that I was losing count, and the addition of the commas was my solution.

McCaskey published these same lyrics in his 1899 Popular Songs and Hymns (New York: Harper & Bros.), p. 300.

Because of the modern meaning of “gay,” that word is frequently replaced, and sometimes the entire line is substituted. This has occasionally occasioned considerable dispute, although had the lyrics not been substituted, there would have likely been objections by others. However, if there is one constancy that I have observed in Christmas carols, it is that editors change lyrics. Relax and enjoy the moment.

In this context, the word "troll" in the line "Troll the ancient Christmas carol" means to sing loudly or boldly.

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