- Date of Publish: 1827, London
- Key: Minor; 1827 version in B♭ minor
History of “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”
“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” is a traditional English Christmas carol with a simple, minor melody typical of the 15th Century. It was first mentioned in British satirist William Hone’s 1823 tribute to unpublished works Ancient Mysteries Described, along with his prediction that the song would soon fade into history. However, in his 1827 book Facetiæ and Miscellanies, Hone set one of his tongue-in-cheek political poems to the tune of the traditional carol, making it the first time its music – as we know it today – was seen in print. In 1833, the carol was officially published in William Sandys’ Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, but was written with a notably different melody.
You vs. Ye
Either “You” or “Ye” may be used in the carol; but it’s interesting to note that the archaic ye wasn’t seen in print until Charles L. Hutchins’ 1916 publication Carols Old and Carols New. Both forms are common today, although “ye” emphasizes the song’s antiquated feel.
- View complete English lyrics for “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” – with chord progressions for accompaniment
Learn “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” on Piano
Get the complete sheet music for “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” This e minor arrangement has a simple bass line, and is appropriate for all skill-levels.
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