Sunday 5 December 2010
Tune of the Day: The Sussex Carol
Traditional English Christmas carol, arranged for flute quartet
This popular British carol was actually first published in 1684 by an Irish bishop, Luke Wadding, in a work called Small Garland of Pious and Godly Songs. It is not clear, however, whether Wadding wrote the song or was recording an earlier composition.
Both the text and the tune to which the carol is now sung were discovered and written down by Cecil Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams, who heard it being sung by a Harriet Verrall of Monk's Gate, Sussex. The tune to which it is sung today is the one Vaughan Williams took down from Mrs Verrall and published in 1919.