Sheet Music: Christmas Comes But Once a Year

TitleChristmas Comes But Once a Year
Alternate titlesGreensleeves Jig
I'm a Silly Old Man
Bunch of Roses
The Bunch of Currants
The Basket of Oysters
ComposerTraditional English
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG minor
Time signature6/8
Tempo80 BPM
Performance time0:50
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (48 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (401 kB)
Date added2015-12-24
Last updated2015-12-24
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.6 (below average)
Christmas carols, Jigs, Traditional/Folk


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Thursday 24 December 2015

Tune of the Day: Christmas Comes But Once a Year

Traditional English tune

This jig version of Greensleeves is also known in Ireland under the titles “I'm a Silly Old Man” and “Bunch of Roses”. The latter was a common name for the red-coated British Army (which always had a large number of Irish conscripts), but also refers symbolically to the union of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The first appearance of the tune in print appears to be in Howe's 1000 Jigs and Reels, published around 1867.