Good King Wenceslas (Traditional)

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John Stainer harmonization

  • (Posted 2021-12-10)  CPDL #67103:     
Editor: Richard Mix (submitted 2021-12-10).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 45 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: A major, with page and monarch parts in bold. An altered version of Neale's text: flesh/food, thou/you. (corr. '21-12-15)
  • (Posted 2018-07-22)  CPDL #50627:     
Editor: Francis Melville (submitted 2018-07-22).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by John Stainer, in A-flat for SATB unaccompanied.
  • (Posted 2008-12-31)  CPDL #18457:  Network.png
Editor: Rod Mather (submitted 2008-12-31).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 26 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Arranged by John Stainer in A major.
  • (Posted 2000-11-27)  CPDL #01700:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher R. Baker (submitted 2000-11-27).   Score information: Unknown   Copyright: CC BY 1.0
Edition notes: Arranged by John Stainer.
  • (Posted 1999-12-07)  CPDL #00624:     
Editor: Rafael Ornes (submitted 1999-12-07).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 15 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Arranged by John Stainer. Verse 1 only underlaid.

Other arrangements

  • (Posted 2019-11-26)  CPDL #56076:     
Editor: Francis Melville (submitted 2019-11-26).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 100 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged for SSAATTBB with Bar and S solos by Francis Melville.
  • (Posted 2017-11-20)  CPDL #47597:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2017-11-20).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 48 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Harmonised by Richard R. Terry.
  • (Posted 2008-12-04)  CPDL #18448:   
Editor: Burkhart M. Schürmann (submitted 2008-12-04).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 76 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Arr. for SAB by Burkhart M. Schürmann.
  • (Posted 2004-05-20)  CPDL #07046:  Network.png
Editor: Edward L. Stauff (submitted 2004-05-20).   Score information: Unknown   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: harm. E. L. Sauff; also included in the Christmas Songbook.

General Information

Title: Good King Wenceslas
Composer: Anonymous (Traditional)
Lyricist: John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredCarol

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1867 in Christmas Carols New and Old (John Stainer), Edition 1, no. 10
Description:  The tune is from Piae Cantiones (1582) where it has the springtime text Tempus adest floridum. See also Good King Wenceslas (Geoffrey Shaw).

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
Thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither."
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in tehm boldly,
Thou shalt find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.