Advent Carol for December 16: Past Three O’Clock

This carol has everything – a jaunty organ part (complete with jaunty organist); a cheery tune; an arrangement of such devilish complexity that I don’t think a single bar is repeated; a startling high note in the refrain and a sweeping descant to round off the final verse. The main tune is a traditional one, but the lyrics and that lively refrain are the work of our old friend George Ratliffe Woodward, whom I can’t however love wholeheartedly because he also gave us Ding Dong Merrily and you know how I feel about that one. This one, though, I love wholeheartedly.