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The Children's Christmas
The Children's Christmas is a collection of nine Christmas carols written by Robert Spence Watson, and set to music by Myles Birket Foster, Jr (son of the artist). It was published in 1883 and, though probably little known outside the family, was in continuous use at family Christmases of the descendants of Robert and Elizabeth Spence Watson for at least a further three generations, and almost certainly into the 21st century.
Each of the great-grandchildren had their own personal copy, and this pdf is scanned from my own, with apologies in particular for the regrettable sellotape stains:
The Children's Christmas (pdf of the score)
A 78 rpm gramophone recording was made—probably in the late 1940s—of six of the nine carols played on the piano by my grandmother Mary S.W. Pollard. Each carol is announced by her nephew Bill Morrell. These are the recordings:
Side One (Christmas Eve; Sancta Claus; Carol)
Side Two (The Christmas Tree, and Dance Round the Tree; Good-Night! and Christmas Prayer)
I am biased, of course. But these Victorian carols strike me as quite charming, and deserve to be better known.
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