Let us be merry

I wrote "Let us be merry" in 2013 for the Brazos Valley Chorale Young Composer Christmas Carol Competition in the USA, which I won with this piece. The choir that organized the competition only performed a shortened version. The original version of the piece was not performed until Christmas 2021 by the Mörth Singers under my direction.

The text is "A Christmas Carol" by George Wither, a long poem that describes in all colors the preparations and festivities of Christmas and how happy everyone is.

"A Christmas Carol", by George Wither (1588 - 1667)

So now is come our joyful feast, Let every man be jolly; Each room with ivy leaves is dressed, And every post with holly. Though some churls at our mirth repine, Round your foreheads garlands twine, Drown sorrow in a cup of wine, And let us all be merry. Now all our neighbors' chimnies smoke, And Christmas blocks are burning; Their ovens they with baked meats choke, And all their spits are turning. Without the door let sorrow lie, And if for cold it hap to die, We'll bury it in a Christmas pie, And evermore be merry. Now every lad is wondrous trim, And no man minds his labor; Our lasses have provided them A bagpipe and a tabor. Young men and maids, and girls and boys, Give life to one another's joys; And you anon shall by their noise Perceive that they are merry. Now poor men to the justices With capons make their errands; And if they hap to fail of these, They plague them with their warrants. But now they feed them with good cheer, And what they want they take in beer, For Christmas comes but once a year, And then they shall be merry. The client now his suit forbears, The prisoner's heart is eased; The debtor drinks away his cares, And for the time is pleased. Though others' purses be more fat, Why should we pine or grieve at that; Hang sorrow, care will kill a cat, And therefore let us all be merry. The wenches with their wassail-bowls About the streets are singing; The boys are come to catch the owls, The wild mare in is bringing. Our kitchen boy hath broke his box, And to the dealing of the ox Our honest neighbors come by flocks, And here they will be merry. Then wherefore in these merry days Should we, I pray, be duller? No, let us sing some roundelays To make our mirth the fuller. And whilst we thus inspired sing, Let all the streets with echoes ring; Woods, and hills, and everything Bear witness we are merry. Let us all be merry!


Length: 3 min

Mörth Singers, 2023