This hymn is a traditional English carol from the county of Dorset, possibly from some time during 1820 to 1830 and known to have been sung in the locality of Puddletown. It appeared in the Thomas Hardy Memorial Collection and in a carol collection by George Hansard in 1830. A carol with very similar lyrics was published in Wiltshire Folksongs and Carols in 1904 under the name “The Second Britford Carol”. Nearly 100 years later A Collection of Dorset Carols was put together by W.A. Pickard-Cambridge and published in 1926. It has also been published in the 1992 The New Oxford Book of Carols.
Anonymous 4 recordings
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907325 (CD: Wolcum Yule)
Harp – Andrew Lawrence King
Here it is being performed in a rehearsal by Boston West Gallery Quire.