Sans Day Carol - a Traditional Christmas Carol, arranged for guitar by Glenn Jarrett

Here is an original guitar arrangement, by Glenn Jarrett, of Sans Day Carol, a 19th Century tune from Cornwall. It is also known as St Day Carol after the village of St Day between Redruth and Truro (in Cornwall). The village of St Day or St They is named after a Breton Saint whose cult spread across Cornwall, when it had close ties with the Amorican region of ancient Gaul (including what is now Brittany in France). We believe that "Sans" is pronounced like the French word "Saint" which in turn is similar to the Cornish word "Sen". The Carol was originally passed by oral tradition until a local man Thomas Beard sang it to Mr W D Watson who then sang it to the Rev G H Doble. The carol was then published in various forms and included by Ralph Dunstan in his collections of local Cornish songs and carols.

The words are reminiscent of the better known The Holly And The Ivy and are easily looked up. Choral renditions of Sans Day Carol are usually performed with a lively, bright and light feel and the arranger recommends a similar interpretation for the classical, or fingerstyle, guitar. The oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah feel commonly associated with waltz time should definitely be avoided (according to Glenn). We have sheet music for this carol for other instruments listed at our piano arrangement page, and recommend that you check out our full catalogue of Christmas Carols.

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