Rudolph Variations — Melrose Quartet (2024)

The Rudolph Variations

1. THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (trad)

1.Oh the holly and the ivy

When they are both full grown

Of all the trees that are in the wood

The holly bears the crown

Oh the rising of the sun

And the running of the deer

The playing of the merry organ

Sweet singing all in the choir

2.Oh the holly bears a blossom

As white as lily flower

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ

To be our sweet saviour

3.Oh the holly bears a berry

As red as any blood

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ

To do poor sinners good

4.Oh the holly bears a prickle

As sharp as any thorn

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ

On Christmas day in the morn

5.Oh the holly bears a bark

As bitter as any gall

And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ

For to redeem us all

5. CHARIOTS (J. Kirkpatrick)

1.O Shepherd O shepherd come leave off your piping

Come listen come learn come hear what I say

For now is the time that has long been forespoken

For now is the time there’ll be new tunes to play

For soon there comes one who brings a new music

Of sweetness and clarity none can compare

So open your heart for heavenly harmony

Here on this hill will be filling the air

With chariots of cherubim chanting

And seraphim singing hosanna

And a choir of archangels a-caroling come

Hallelujah Hallelu

All the angels a-trumpeting glory

In praise of the Prince of Peace

2.See on yon stable the starlight is shimmering

And glimmering and glistening and glowing with glee

In Bethlehem blest this baby of bliss will be

Born here before you as bold as can be

And you’ll be the first to hear the new symphony

Songs full of gladness and glory and light

So learn your tunes well and play your pipes proudly

For the Prince of Paradise plays here tonight

3.Bring your sheep bleating to this happy meeting

To hear how the lamb with the lion shall lie

It’s mooing and braying you’ll hear the song saying

The humble and lowly will be the most high

Let the horn of the herdsman be heard up in heaven

For the gates are flung open for all who come near

And the simplest of souls shall sing to infinity

Lift up and listen and you shall hear

4.The warmonger’s charger will thunder for freedom

The gun-maker’s furnace will dwindle and die

And muskets and sabers and swords shall be sundered

Surrendered to the sound that is sweeping the sky

And the shoes of the mighty shall dance to new measures

And the jackboots of generals shall jangle no more

As sister and brother and father and mother

Agree with each other the end to all war

5.As a candle can conquer the demons of darkness

As a flame can keep frost from the deepest of cold

So a song can give hope in the depths of all danger

And a line of pure melody soar in your soul

So sing your songs well and sing your songs sweetly

And swear that your singing it never shall cease

So the clatter of battle and drums of disaster

Be drowned in the sound of the pipes of peace

7. LIVERPOOL (Attributed to J. Hall of Sheffield Park c. 1790's.)

1.While shepherds watched their flocks by night, 

All seated on the ground, 

The angel of the Lord came down, 

And glory shone around.

2.“Fear not”, said he, for mighty dread 

Had seized their troubled mind; 

“Glad tidings of great joy I bring, 

To you and all mankind.”

3.“To you in David’s town this day 

Is born of David’s line, 

A Saviour who is Christ the Lord, 

And this shall be the sign.”

4.“All glory be to God on high, 

And to the earth be peace; 

Good-will henceforth from heaven to men, 

Begin and never cease.”

9. LULLAY MY LIKING (trad)

1.I saw a fair maiden

Sitten and sing:

She lulled a little child,

A sweete Lording

Lullay my liking,

My dear Son, my Sweeting;

Lullay my dear Heart,

Mine own dear Darling.

2.That Eternal Lord is He

That made alle thing;

Of alle Lordes He is Lord,

Of every King He’s King.

3.There was mickle melody

At that childes birth:

Though the songsters were heavenly

They made mickle mirth.

4.Angels bright they sang that night

And saiden to that Child

“Blessed be Thou and so be she

That is so meek and mild.”

5.Pray we now to that child,

As to His Mother dear,

God grant them all His blessing

That now maken cheer.

13. MOUNT MORIAH (trad)

1.‘Glory to God’, the angels sing,

‘Glad tidings, lo, I bring,

Glad tidings, lo, I bring!

In David’s city lies a babe,

And Jesus is the child,

And Jesus is the child,

And Jesus is the child’.

2.‘Glory to God’, let man reply,

‘For Christ, the Lord, is come,

For Christ, the Lord, is come;

Behold him in a manger lie,

A stable is His room,

A stable is His room,

A stable is His room’.

3.‘Glory to God, let all the earth

Join in the heavenly song,

Join in the heavenly song,

And praise Him for our Saviour’s birth

In every land and tongue,

In every land and tongue,

In every land and tongue!’

2. HAIL SMILING MORN (R. Spofforth, 1810)

Hail smiling morn, smiling morn

That tips the hills with gold,

That tips the hills with gold

And whose rosy fingers open wide

The gates of Heav’n,

The gates of Heav’n,

And whose rosy fingers open wide

The gates of Heav’n?

All the green fields of nature doth unfold

All the green fields of nature doth unfold

At whose bright presence

Darkness flies away

Flies away (flies away)

Flies away (flies away)

Darkness flies away

Darkness flies away

At whose bright presence

Darkness flies

Darkness flies away

Flies away, flies away

Hail, hail, hail, hail, hail, hail, hail, hail!

3. COME, SEE THE BOYS GO ROUND (P. Davenport)

Come, see the boys go round

How sweet the music flows

Bring forth the plough to break the ground

Raise up the shining Rose

1.When Christmastide is gone and past

When fields lie stark and bare

Then let us brave the winter’s blast

Without a fear or care

Without a fear or care my boys

Let each with one accord

Now dance the round on frozen ground

With ribbons, drum and sword

2.Now first of all comes Besom Bess

A-sweeping with her broom

To drive out winter’s cold distress

To clear and make the room

To clear and make the room my boys

That we may sport and play

With swords that clash and brightly flash

Upon this holiday

3.Let Lord and Lady start the game

Let Tom Fool sing the song

That wakes those heroes of great fame

Who roll the year along

Who roll the year along my boys

For only they know how

The plough becomes the shining sword

The sword becomes the plough

4.Now enter in those heroes bold,

Those heroes of great fame

Their forefathers in days of old

Each bore a glorious name

Each bore a glorious name my boys

Likewise a shining blade

They leap and spin, the swords go in

And thus the Rose is made!

4. THE THREE DROVERS (Words: J. Wheeler, Music: W. G.James)

1.Across the plains one Christmas night

Three drovers riding blithe and gay,

Looked up and saw a starry light

More radiant than the Milky Way;

And on their hearts such wonder fell,

They sang with joy

‘Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!’

2.The air was dry with summer heat,

And smoke was on the yellow moon;

But from the heavens, faint and sweet,

Came floating down a wond’rous tune;

And as they heard, they sang full well

Those drovers three

‘Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!’

3.The black swans flew across the sky,

The wild dog called across the plain,

The starry lustre blazed on high,

Still echoed on the heavenly strain;

And still they sang, ‘Noel! Noel!’

Those drovers three

‘Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!’

6. SHEFFIELD WASSAIL (P. Smith)

1.It is so many weeks

Since we’ve seen the evening sun

And solstice time has sung its rhyme

And wassail time is come

Here’s to you and your families,

Young lovers and old friends,

We’ll welcome in the New Year

Now we’ve seen the old one end.

2.So here we come a wandering

Upon this wintry night

And here we come a-wassailing

To make the future bright

3.God bless the old and weary

Whose times is nearly run

And all the unsung carers

Who are paid a paltry sum

4.And God bless the young and hearty,

Whose futures are unclear

We wish them work and plenty

And a prosperous New Year

5.So think on those who have no home

Who sleep from door to door

And damn the rich and famous,

Who greed for more and more

6.God damn the politicians

Who lie and cheat each day

And damn the institutions

Who help them on their way

7.God bless the keepers of this pub

And all who dwell within

So raise your glass and raise your voice

And sing the New Year in

8.The old year’s gone forever,

God bless it and good cheer

I’ll raise my glass and wish you all

A happy New Year

11. DIADEM (Words: Rev E. Perronet, Music: J. Ellor)

1.All hail the power of Jesus’ name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Let angels prostrate fall; 

Bring forth the royal diadem, 

And crown Him, crown Him, crown Him, crown Him, 

And crown Him Lord of all! 

2.Ye saints redeemed of Adam’s race, 

Ye ransomed from the fall, 

Ye ransomed from the fall, 

Hail Him who saves you by his grace, 

3.Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget 

The wormwood and the gall, 

The wormwood and the gall;

Go spread your trophies at his feet, 

4.O that with yonder sacred throng 

We at His feet may fall,

We at His feet may fall;

Join in the everlasting song, 

And crown Him Lord of all,

And crown Him Lord of all,

And crown Him Lord of all,

And crown Him Lord of all.

8. BOXING DAY (R. Johnson)

1.When I sit down at my table,

Clasp my hands and bow my head

Should I thank my heavenly landlord

For my daily crust of bread 

When the hunters in his stable

And the hounds in his pack 

Get the pickings of the harvest

On which I break my back

There’s a fence around the common land

Put there by the law

It’s called hunting if you’re gentry

But it’s poaching if you’re poor

And the law forgives your trespass

Like the hounds forgive the fox

You must number all your blessings

With the ha’pence in your box 

And it feels like winter spit to eat and hell to pay

It feels like Reynardine on Boxing Day

It feels like winter spit to eat and hell to pay

It feels like Reynardine on Boxing Day 

2.Now the forest is a shipwreck

And the field is full of stone

It’s hard to find a blade of grass

Some bastard doesn’t own

And they stopped the earth up for us

And they drove us into town

Now they say there’s no work for us

And they’ve closed the factory down 

3.They’re still meeting in the country

For the hunt and for the course

You can join the bloody gentry

If you can afford a bleedin’ horse

And we raid along the railway

And we pray we don’t get caught

God damn you merry gentlefolk

For your money and your sport 

4.When I sit down at my table,

Clasp my hands and bow my head

Should I thank my heavenly landlord

For my daily crust of bread

For the whip and hand that feeds us

And keeps us in our place

One day we’ll turn and wipe the smile

Clean off your bloody face

10. BRIGHT NEW YEAR (A. Thompson)

1.Now all around is cold and chill,

But take good heart, fear no ill,

For through the frost of winter

Comes a bright new year.

A bright new year,

A bright new year

For through the frost of winter

Comes a bright new year.

2.Food and drink to make us grow,

Swell the seed that we would sow,

So comes the rain in springtime

And a bright new year.

A bright new year,

A bright new year

So comes the rain in springtime

And a bright new year.

3.Warmth and light to make us strong,

Bring the ripest fruit along

So comes the sun in summer

And a bright new year.

4.When harvest time has gone around

Blow out the chaff, clear the ground

So comes the wind in autumn

And a bright new year.

5.So when all around is cold and chill,

Take good heart, fear no ill,

For through the frost of winter

Comes a bright new year.

12. A STRANGE TIME TO BLOOM (N. Kerr)

For Rosa Luxemburg, March 1871 – January 1919

1.Sweet rosemary flowers, what a  strange  time  for  blooming

I thought her like a rosebud seen only in June 

In coarse January with springtime a memory

What a  strange  time  for levity, what a  strange time  to  bloom 

For we’ve been  too long crying lamenting and sighing

For loves that have wandered and might be home soon

Though winter it glowers and the rich steal our powers

Sweet rosemary flowers, what a  strange  time  to  bloom.

2.Perhaps she laments for the loss of a true love

And wishes  to  woo if they ever return 

Perhaps she remembers our comrades who hunger

For a garden of flowers, for the freedom of a bird 

3.Perhaps in the darkness, the moonlight, the quiet

The wounded our riotous roots may exhume 

To  grant when awoken  to  longings unspoken 

To  hearts that are broken, their  strange  time  to  bloom 

4.Sweet rosemary flowers, what a  strange  time  for  blooming 

I thought her like a rosebud seen only in June

But springtime or autumn, grant all hearts a garden

And all Rosa’s children their  strange  time  to  bloom.

14. THE RUDOLPH VARIATIONS (words: J. Marks)

1.Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Had a very shiny nose

And if you ever saw it

You would even say it glows

2.All of the other reindeer

Used to laugh and call him names

They never let poor Rudolph

Join in any reindeer games

3.Then one foggy Christmas Eve

Santa came to say

“Rudolph with your nose so bright

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

4.Then all the reindeers loved him

And they shouted out with glee

“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

You’ll go down in history!”

Rudolph Variations — Melrose Quartet (2024)

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