Post by Matt Faunce
Nice! I've always really liked that tune.
So do I, and I’m surprised it took this long for me to get around to arranging it. It’s also a good tune for beginners to play.
The melody goes back to the 16th century, where it was a song celebrating Spring. The Wenceslas poem was affixed to it in 1853. Not everyone liked the result. The 1928 Oxford Book of Carols has this to say of Good King Wenceslas:
“This rather confused narrative owes its popularity to the delightful tune, which is that of a Spring carol...Unfortunately Neale in 1853 substituted for the Spring carol this Good King Wenceslas, one of his less happy pieces, which E. Duncan goes so far as to call "doggerel", and Bullen condemns as "poor and commonplace to the last degree". The time has not yet come for a comprehensive book to discard it; but we reprint the tune in its proper setting...not without hope that, with the present wealth of carols for Christmas, Good King Wenceslas may gradually pass into disuse, and the tune be restored to spring-time.”
Sheesh. Someone needs to lighten up.
South Euclid, OH