Christmas Song

A CHRISTMAS SONG FROM NORFOLK COUNTY - 1828. In 1828 John Collver, a settler from New Jersey published a collection of verse called "The Upper Canada Hymn Book" It contained hymns and other poetical works. The copy I have seen was in the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe, Ontario. The hymns are mostly of the usual sort - "Hymn For A Corrupt Magistrate" being one noteable exception. There are also a number of epigrams for people he knew who had died. (often in dramatic ways - drowning and lightning strikes!) This is his "Christmas Song". There are no tunes suggested in the book, but the lyrics for this song are in such an unusual metre that the fuguing tune "Lenox" is the only one that seems to fit them. (let me know if you find another!) Co-incidentally Lewis Edson, the composer of that tune was also from New Jersey. The recorded setting here is from the American shape-note book "The Original Sacred Harp", although the tune also appears in Canadian books of the era. Here is the music for it, also with a link to a performance by Prof. Chalaupka's Celebrated Singing School from their 1995 CD "Brightest and Best". I have also included a three-part setting of the tune from my copy of "Sacred Harmony", Toronto, 1838.


Title Christmas Song
Subject Choral Music Songs of Social Life
Year 1828
Locale Southwestern
Keywords Christmas Collver Hymn Norfolk Shape Note



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