The Ditchling Carol

The English folk singers John Roberts and Tony Barrand have discovered this “traditional” folk lyric to be the work of William Robert Spencer, an Oxford-educated bon vivant who published it in 1811. A version of the song has been recorded several times, most notably by the Waterson family. The music of that setting was reputedly by a shoemaker and church musician from the town of Ditchling in East Sussex during the first half of the 19th century; thus it came to be known as “The Ditchling Carol.”

My setting is in the spirit of English village street carols: lusty, rhythmic, and irrepressible. The drums give it the air of a stomping procession of rowdy wassailers at sunset on Christmas Eve.

Published by: 

Fresh Ayre Music
Item Voicing Perusal scores/Recordings Price
FAM-0048-01 SATB, B solo