By Jon Wilks
“The merry time of Christmas is drawing on a-pace…”, and so I’m delighted to share with you this Birmingham-related recording of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” [Roud 394], taken from my forthcoming album, “Up The Cut”. You can listen to (and download) the track via my Bandcamp page now, and via various streaming platforms from December 1st.
Pre-save “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on Spotify by clicking here. You will be notified via the Spotify app when it becomes available.
I found this broadside version of the well-known carol on the Broadside Ballads website. Printed by D. Wrighton at 86 Snow Hill, Birmingham, sometime between 1812-30, it contains lyrics I don’t recognise from my school days. Throwing down Satan wasn’t a major part of Yuletide festivities in 1980s Solihull, as far as I recall.
Sure, it’s a bit cheesy to do a Christmas song, but I feel it’s something of a Midlands tradition. If Slade can do it, then I’ll have a bash, too. This one’s for Noddy. Oi, oi!
Huge thanks to Andi Lee of Kosi Studios, who has helped me to mix and master this track, and the remainder of the tracks on “Up The Cut”. It’s hard to listen to your own music even once, let alone a hundred times over, so I’m very grateful to Andi for his help (and to Tom Moore for his help in demoing the track to begin with). Thanks also to Jon Nice for the lovely linocut cover.
Here’s to having as peaceful and restful a Christmas as 2020 will allow. Good tidings of the season to each and every one of you.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Lyrics
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our saviour
Was born on Christmas Day
To save our souls from Satan’s thrall
Which long have gone astray
This brings tidings of comfort and joy