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Contemporary version – Tradsinger Tradsinger – Come all you true good Christians
Henry Thomas could only remember the tune and some of the words of this song, so that when Cecil Sharp published it in English Folk Carols in 1911 as Come all you Faithful Christians, he took Thomas’ tune and added 2 verses from another carol called The Lamb. A fuller version was published as The Hereford Carol in the Oxford Book of Carols in 1928, collated from versions from Wales, Hereford and Worcester. (Notes from Oxford Book of Carols, 1992). The Worcestershire version was collected by Miss W.Norbury on January 23rd 1902., to a different tune, as ‘Come All Ye Faithful Christians’ from Mr Gallett, Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire. His first verse is very similar and is:
Come, all ye faithful Christians that dwell upon the earth,
Come, celebrate the morning of our dear Saviour’s birth.
This is the happy morning, this is the happy morn
When to save our ruined race the Son of God was born.
The song is also known as ‘Come all you Worthy Christian Men’ or ‘The Angel Gabriel’
Note by Gwilym Davies November 2011