The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ye Young And Ye Gay

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: "The Saturday Review," January 4, 1890, p. 19.

Ye young and ye gay,
   Ye lovers of sin;
Who sportive with play
   Each New Year Begin;
Who're made after pleasure,
   And frolic, and glee;
A moment take leisure,
   And listen to me.

Editor's Note:

Only the first verse is available. I am continuing to look for the entire hymn and it's music.

The first verse of this hymn was mentioned in the context of a review in "The Saturday Review" of the re-issue of "A Christmas Box" in 1889. It was originally issued in London by the Religious Tract Society in 1825 as "The Christmas Box or New Year's Gift." Before the verse was reprinted, the reviewer had this (partial) observation:

The letterpress consists of hymns, religious or moral poetry, and texts. The hymns need not be considered. They belong to the period of the Evangelical domination, when religion was a very anxious and doubtful business, even for those who had got conviction -- for those who had not, of course, there was no need at all for either anxiety or for doubt. The religious poetry, not written expressly for this volume, in turn exhorts and warns, persuades and threatens the sinner:--

Source: "The Saturday Review," January 4, 1890, p. 19.

Printer Charles Watson (1826) published a Broadside that has been described as:

Christmas Carols. 1. The Best Wisdom. A Carol for the New Year (Ye young and ye gay). Carol I [sic]. Good Tidings to All People (Good gentlemen and ladies all). Carol II. Christ's Love to Sinners (This second carol here I sing). Carol III. The Nativity of Christ (All hail the ever glad'ning morn)

Watson became a well-to-do printer and newspaper proprietor. His main career was at 24 High Street (1831-32), 26 Church Street (1832-34), and 23 Temple Street (1845-54). He issued ballads only from his first and least salubrious address, Jamaica Row (1826), in what must have been his earliest venture. The sheets, in most cases headed Christmas Carols, have the manuscript annotation of 1826, though one additionally has 'Christmas Eve 1824'. All are in the Bodleian Library.

Source: Birmingham Broadside Ballads

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