Wednesday 30 December 2015

Peter Warlock's "Bethelehem Down"

When he is King we will give him the King's gifts
Myrrh for its sweetness and gold for a crown
Beautiful robes, said the young girl to Joseph
Fair with her first born on Bethlehem down.

In 1927, journalist and poet Bruce Blunt and composer Peter Warlock were broke and living in the country in Britain.  Blunt wrote the poem Bethlehem Down and Warlock composed an accompanying tune. The pair submitted it to a Christmas carol contest run by the Daily Telegraph, winning first prize and financing a night of heavy carousing on Christmas Eve in London town.  With a hit on their hands, Blunt land Warlock decided to call themselves Carols Consolidated.

The piece was performed at King's College in Cambridge in 2010.  Sting sang the song on one of his albums (

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