The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The bores heed in hande bring I

"A caroll bringyng in the bores heed" in Middle English.

Words and Music: Traditional English
(From A Collection of Christmas Carols, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1521, from which book it is given by Hearne, in his notes to William of Newbery, iii. p. 175.)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841), p. 26.

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q
Compare: The Boar's Head Carol and The Boar's Head

See generally: The Boar's Head Carols

The bores heed in hande bring I - This carol in the Old Blackletter font.

Caput apri differo
Reddens laudens domino.

The bores heed in hande bring I
With garlands gay and rosemary
I pray you all synge merely
    Qiu estis in conuiuio

The bores heed I understande
Is the chefe servyce in this lande;
Loke where ever it be fande
    Servite cum cantico.

Be gladde, lordes, bothe more and lasse,
For this hath ordeyned owr stewarde
To chere you all this Christmasse
The bores heed with mustarde.


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.

The word "thefe" in verse 2 is considered to by a typographical error. The correct word should be "chefe."

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