The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Heap On More Wood The Wind Is Chill

Words: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Music: Corn rigs, harmonized by Charles Wood

Source: Charles Wood and George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cambridge Carol-Book, Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924), #13.

1. Heap on more wood! the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still,
Each age has deem'd the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer;
And well our Christian sires of old
Lov'd when the year its course had roll'd.

2. On Christmas Eve the bells were rung
On Christmas Eve the Mass was sung
That only night in all the year
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.
The damsel donn’d her kirtle sheen;
The hall was dress'd with holly green
Forth to the wood did merry men go
To gather in the mistletoe.

3. Then open’d wide the baron’s hall
To vassal, tenant, serf and all
Power laid his rod of rule aside,
And ceremony doff’d his pride.
All hail’d, with uncontroll’d delight
And general voice, the happy night,
That to the cottage, as the crown,
Brought tidings of salvation down.

4. The fire, with well-dried logs supplied,
Went roaring up the chimney wide;
The huge hall-table's oaken face,
Scrubb’d till it shone, the day to grace,
Bore then upon its massive board
No mark to part the squire and lord.
Then the grim boar’s head frown’d on high,
Crested with bays and rosemary.

5. The wassel round, in good brown bowls,
Garnish'd with ribbons, blithely trowls;
There the huge sirloin reek'd; hard by
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie.
Then came the merry masquers in,
And carols roar'd with blithesome din:
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note and strong.

6. England was Merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports agen:
'Twas Christmas broach'd the mightiest ale;
'Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft would cheer
The poor man's heart through half the year.
England was Merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports agen.

Sheet Music

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