This is a Christmas carol that was first written as a poem by Christina Rossetti some time before 1872. The poem became a carol when it was printed in "The English Hymnal" in 1906. It was set to music by Gustav Holst.

In 1911 Harold Darke set it to different music. According to the BBC, the song as set to Darke's music was voted the best carol by choirmasters in 2008.

Listen

In the recordings below, you can hear the song sung to the tune by Gustav Holst (circa 1906).

In the 1st recording below, you can hear sung verses 1, 2, 4 & 5.

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Sung by Christine Lehman and Twinkle.

In the recording below, you can hear sung verses 1, 4 & 5.

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Sung a cappella by Kristin Hughes.

In the recording below, you can hear sung verses 1, 2, 4 & 5.

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Performed by Karen Savage.

Watch
In the YouTube videos below, you can hear the song sung to the music by Harold Darke (1911).

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