The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Now Christmas Day Approaches Near

Alternate Title: The Approach of Christmas

Words and Music: Unknown

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

1. Now Christmas Day approaches near,
Trim up the house with holly,
And set abroach the strongest beer,
For neighbours to be jolly.
Let fanatics old customs blame,
Yet Christmas is a High day,
Though they will fast upon the same,
And feast upon Good Friday.

2. Good works are popishly inclined,
Say they that none will do,
Yet they for pride can money find,
And keep a coach also.
Thus, that which should relieve the poor,
And feast them at this tide,
Is spent upon a coach and four,
To maintain foolish pride.

3. Yet some there are, although but few,
In whom moor goodness lurks,
Who, to the poor will pity show,
And show their faith by works.
I wish, for one, that these were twain,
And knaves away all swept,
That honest Christmas once again
With feasting may be kept.

Husk's Note:

This carol, which is occasionally found elsewhere, under the title of "A Hint to the Fanaticks," originally appeared in "Poor Robin's Almanack" for 1711.

Also found in Joshua Sylvester, A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861)

This Carol, also, is taken from "Poor Robin's Almanack, 1711. I have seen it entitled " A Hint to the Fanaticks."

Note that Hugh Keyte, an editor of The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) believes that "Joshua Sylvester" is a pseudonym for a collaboration between William Sandys (1792-1874) and William Henry Husk (1814-1887). See Appendix 4.

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