The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Tidings I Bring You For To Tell

Words and Music: English Traditional

Compare Tydynges I Bryng 3ow For To Tell (Wright, 1847)

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

Version Two of Seven From Husk
See generally Notes On The Boar's Head Carols

1. Tidings I bring you for to tell,
What me in wild forest befel
When me must with a wild beast mell1
With a boar so bryme.2

2. A boar so bryme that me pursued,
Me for to kill so sharply moved,
That brymly beast so cruel and unrude,3
    There tamed I him,
And reft from him both life and limb.

3. Truly, to show you that this is true,
His head with my sword I hew,
To make this day to you mirth new,
    Now eat thereof anon.

4. Eat, and much good do it you;
Take your bread and mustard thereto.
Joy with me that I have thus done,
I pray you be glad every one,
    And joy all in one.


1. Meddle. Return

2. Fierce. Return

3. Savage. Return

Husk's Note:

"This is from the manuscript of the fifteenth century which was edited, as before mentioned, in 1847, for the Percy Society by Mr. Thomas Wright." [Tydynges I Bryng 3ow For To Tell, in Songs and Carols]

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

Under the head of Boar's Head Carols I have grouped together a few that were formerly in much request at Christmas celebrations. In those days Carols of this kind usually heralded the entertainment of good things provided by the generous host.

The first dish that was served up in the old baronial halls was the Boar's Head, which was brought in with great state, and with minstrelsy. Between the flourishes of the heralds' trumpets, Carols were chanted forth. The one which immediately follows is taken from Mr. T. Wright's MS. The one which immediately follows is taken from Mr. T. Wright's MS. [Tydynges I Bryng 3ow For To Tell, in Songs and Carols], the spelling being modernised.

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.

Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 256.

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