The lyrics of this unusual carol are by Spencer family aristocrat and poet William Robert Spencer (1769-1834) and were published in 1811. It’s variously said that the tune is by a Peter Preston or a Ditchling shoemaker and church musician called Peter Parsons. We think it has a lot of the best of Christmas spirit about it, including generosity, and enjoying food and drink and singing.
We’ve re-released our 2013 album of Julie’s mainly Tin Pan Alley songs accompanied by Gavin’s Jeffries duet concertina and melodeon.
It’s been unavailable for a long time, but it’s now on download from Bandcamp, priced at £5.
We hope you enjoy it!
Julie and Gavin Atkin
‘Good vocals and excellent recording quality, and good songs. The cover is good as well… ‘ – Nick Dow
‘A very good selection of material, very nicely played. Particularly pleased to hear your take on True Blue!’ – Andy Turner
‘What a lovely laid-back and relaxed album. I particularly liked the last track Archie’s Fancy + Elsie’s Waltz.’ – Rees Wesson
‘Having just heard the album I think it is lovely. A great collection of songs, and the tunes are good as well. A perfect production too! I hope it gets out to a larger audience.’ – Doug Welch
Rest You Here is on Bandcamp!
And we have some samples on YouTube:
To us, it feels like an anthem for our times as well…
Here are two interesting alternatives to the usual versions we know so well.
This Lavenders Green uses a tune and verses collected by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, while Old King Cole uses the tune that appeared in a book of nursery rhymes called ‘Little Songs of Long Ago, published in 1912.
The author doesn’t tell us where the Old King Cole tune came from, but it sounds like a traditional tune to us – though of course it could be a tune of the time carefully composed to sound like something older.