The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Boar's Head In Hand Bear I

Words and Music: Traditional English
(The following modernized form of the foregoing carol,  The bores heed in hande bring I, is given by Dr. Dibdin, as preserved and used up to a very recent period at Queen's College, Oxford. Dibdin's Ames, vol. ii. p. 252)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841), p. 27.

See generally: The Boar's Head Carols

1. The boar's head in hand bear I,
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary;
I pray you, my masters, be merry,
    Quot estis in convivio.

Caput Apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.

2. The boar's head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land;
Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland.
    Let us servire cantico.

Caput Apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.

3. Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the king of bliss;
Which on this day to be served is
    In Reginensi Atrio.

Caput Apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino.

Translations of the Latin from Adams, Round About Our Coal Fire (ca. 1860)

W. H. Davenport Adams provided these handy Latin translations for those of us who were unable to take a course of study in this ancient tongue.

1. Quot estis in convivio. = Ye who are now at the feast.
2. Caput Apri defero | Reddens laudes Domino. - I bring the boar's head, returning praise to the Lord.
3. Let us servire cantico. = Let us serve it with a song.
4. In Reginensi Atrio. = In the Queen's Hall.

Translations from W. H. Davenport Adams, Round About Our Coal Fire (London: James Blackwood, no date; "1860" written in pen, and the date of the Preface), p. 163.

Sheet Music from William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #36
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Sheet Music from Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols. London: Cramer, Beale & Co., 201, Regent Street, No Date (circa 1863).
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Sheet Music from William Wallace Fyfe, Christmas: It's Customs And Carols (London: James Blackwood, 1863), pp. 175-176.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

boars_head-fyfe-p175.jpg (76993 bytes) boars_head-fyfe-p176.jpg (77507 bytes)

Sheet Music from John Richard Magrath, The Queen's College. Vol. 1 of 2 (1341-1646) (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1921), pp. 240-241.

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Source: Christmas Carols, William Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time. (London: Chappell & Co., 1859), pp. 750-758.
"From Dr. Rimbaultís Little Book of Christmas Carols."

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MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Nathan Boughton Warren, The Holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; together with the May-day (Troy, NY: H. B. Nims and Company, 1876). The carol with music arranged by Rimbault is found on pp. 230 and 231.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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Also found in Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 259. Rickert states ďAs sung at Queen's College, Oxford.Ē

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), p. 171, with the note "A modern version of the previous carol [The Boars Head In Hand Bring I - Early Version]. From Dibdin's Typog. Antiq. ii. 252."

See also The Boar's Head In Hand Bear I (William Chappell, 1859, with music)

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