John Speller's Web Pages This new Christmas carol

John Speller's Web Pages - Cornish Carols
This new Christmas carol
"This new Christmas carol" probably dates from the eighteenth-century or before, and was hardly new when printed by William Sandys in 1833. The title was probably designed to add to the attractiveness of a particular broadsheet of Christmas carols promulgated by its originator. The tune consists of the first line, repeated three times, of an old Breton Chanson de danse, reminding us of the strong links between the Celtic cultures of Brittany and Cornwall. Given the text, the repetitiveness of the tune and the very basic harmony, the whole carol strikes one as a particularly primitive Cornish carol -- very much a diamond in the rough.

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"Christmas Eve in Brittany," from The Illustrated London News, 23 December 1854
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