From the "Foreword."
I have read Dr. Phillips' little Carol Book with great interest. He seems to have explored in many directions, and the examples given of some of the old carols are quite new to me.
There is hardly a place of worship - Cathedral, Church, or Chapel - in which carols are not sung. But when I was young it was a very rare thing to hear them sung in Church.
I remember the Rev. Thomas Helmore (who did a really great work in bringing to the notice of Church people these delightful old things) lecturing on the subject, and it fell to my lot as organist of a country church to perform some of his selections. Since then I have always taken much interest in the subject, and at Westminster Abbey I was able to establish carol services at Christmas which have been among the most largely attended of any special services. And again, at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Choral Society has given a yearly carol concert which is one of the most popular of the series given by the Society. Dr. Phillips' book will help those who desire to select real carols.
The carol has a character of its own - it is not a part-song or a hymn tune, but something quite distinct. There are some good modern carols, of course, but a good old one is to be preferred.
I think this little book will help in this direction, and I am glad to have this opportunity of recommending it.
-J. Frederick Bridge. "Cloisters, Westminster Abbey."
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From the "Preface."
This book is the outcome of a series of lectures given by the writer at various times on the subject of Carols and their music, and is published at the request of many friends who wished for a more permanent record than memory could afford.
The subject is so fascinating and so little has been done to popularize it that the author hopes that the present volume may be of general interest, and for this purpose it has been written in a simple style, without technicalities.
The amount of Carol material is so large that only a comparatively small selection could be inserted, but it is believed to be sufficiently varied to illustrate the many types which exist and to give some idea of the popularity of the Carol in days of old. If this book serves to awaken in the reader an interest in the rich store of carol literature which we inherit from our forefathers, it will amply repay the author for his work. It only remains for the writer to gratefully acknowledge his indebtedness to Dr. Ralph Dunstan for his assistance and kindness in correcting the proofs.
-W. J. Phillips.show more