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Boar's Head Carol (Rebsie/Mando)


Noel Project

 Genre: Holiday

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This is a very old carol which probably originated in Oxford, England (about 40 miles from where Rebsie lives) in the 15th century. It wasfirst published in 1521 in Wynken de Worde's 'Christmasse Carolles'.
This version (with words in an odd mixture of English and Latin) is slightly more recent, but was certainly in use before 1719.

The carol is traditionally associated with Queen's College in Oxford, where it has been sung on Christmas Day every year for over 500 years, while a boar's head is paraded into the dining hall on a large plate.

Legend has it that the tradition started when a student of the college was viciously attacked by a wild boar while walking in a nearby forest. He happened to be studying a volume of Aristotle, which he rammed into the boar's open mouth with the words "Graecum est, non potest legi" ("it's Greek, it's unreadable"). The annual boar's head feast in Oxford is said to commemorate this event.

Rebsie Fairholm: vocals
William Shaw: mandolin, treble recorder, software bass and percussion

This traditional carol is arranged and performed by William "mandolinquent" and Rebsie--of the duo "Revolving Doris."
The Noel Project thanks them for contributing this delightful piece, which is included on our holiday CD, "Splendor Bright."

splendor bright cd
now available
the lost records™
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The Boar's Head Carol

The boar's head in hand bear I,
Bedeck'd with bays and rosemary
And I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

The boar's head, as I understand
Is the rarest dish in all the land
Which thus bedeck'd with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss
Which on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio

Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino
Song Stats
Hits: 10410
Comments: 12
Fans: 12
Plays: 2226
Downloads: 514
Votes: 13
Uploaded: Nov 16, 2005 - 09:35:57 PM
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2005 - 11:06:32 AM Last Played: Jun 03, 2019 - 10:18:58 PM
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Tom Atwood said 4994 days ago (November 16th, 2005)
Mystified and I are really glad to have "Revolving Doris" as part of the
Noel Project Christmas CD. With all that you two have going, including
working on your own music, we really appreciate you taking the time
and energy to put this delightful carol together. I think Rebsie has
never sounded better, and the instrumentation is wonderful, especially
when the mandolins appear. When we first started thinking about what
to include in the CD, this is exactly what we had in mind. Unusual,
original, festive, donned in gay apparel. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
Mystified said 4993 days ago (November 16th, 2005)
...to all that Tom's said here.
'Delightful' is exactly what I thought as I listened to this for the first time. This
is a perfect complement to other songs in the Noel Project, and well...it's a
sentimental favorite of mine, bringing back memories of the men's chorus in
High School toting that paper-mache boar's head on a silver platter as they sang
the carol....(really!)

A wonderful rendition of this traditional carol--festive, joyful and just downright
Thanks again, Rebsie and Mando! :)
Check out my latest song called Elevated--Miss Chaos/Mystified vox
mandolinquent said 4991 days ago (November 19th, 2005)
It was really kind of you to ask us aboard. What were you thinking?
Anyway. Thanks very, very much Mysti & Tom.
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
said 4993 days ago (November 16th, 2005)
Raising the Boar
Wow! If we had a Christmas song contest at MacJams, this would take
the cake (along with the Boar's head and wine). Excellent confluence of
talent. Delicious. Unbelievable. Amateurs produced this? No way. You
are pros!
mandolinquent said 4991 days ago (November 19th, 2005)
Raising the Boar
Rich! Thanks. Coming from such a consummate Macjammer, that's a very
flattering compliment.
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
caroline said 4993 days ago (November 17th, 2005)
oh for heaven's sake!!
wow!! this is just amazing - how pretty!! i'm donning scarves and hats - rushing outside ... looking for you coming down the road... i've mulled some wine... i'm baking mincepies - pleeeease... come and sing this at my door - merry!! happy!! thank you - one love, sadie goldberg xxx d/l!
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
I. Spike said 4993 days ago (November 17th, 2005)
How wonderfully strange...
I love the story behind this tune! How wonderfully strange... Makes you
question where all traditions come from.... Lovely performance.
Something different form the same old holiday fare.
Check out my latest song called Aqua Velveeta
Stun Nutz said 4993 days ago (November 17th, 2005)
A magical holiday tune, guys...!
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Epileptic Gibbon said 4993 days ago (November 17th, 2005)
Another winner…
… from both The Noel Project and Rebsie & Mando! What more is
there to say? I've fanned it, voted & would download it if it wasn't
already on our iTunes. Fantastic festive entertainment! Nice one,
you two!
Check out my latest song called Fiddler Off the Roof w/Komrade K & Caroline
stevel said 4990 days ago (November 20th, 2005)
Almost makes me...
want to give some money to Carol singers..as opposed to the bucket of
water which we all know they richly deserve...
But seriously - this is a great track guys, the recorder and mandolin
parts are so perfect. And the vocals are simply exquisite!!
Thanks for sharing this
Check out my latest song called Out of Reach
Noel Project said 4955 days ago (December 25th, 2005)
Merry Christmas!
Thanks again Revolving Doris for loaning the Noel Project this fine
tune. I see it has 96 downloads (as of Christmas 2005) which makes it
one of our most popular songs. Thanks again!
Check out my latest song called Finale (Silent Night)
muchtoodifficult said 4247 days ago (December 3rd, 2007)
Just love this carol...
In my student days in England, we used to sing the Boar's Head as our Processional (the tenors carried the eponymous papier mache head, and the rest of us filed into place after them) in the Guildhall in York.

And then we sang it as our Recessional.

And then we sang it in the pub afterwards.

Lots of pubs, actually...

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Name: The Noel Project
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The Noel Project is a collaboration among several artists at MacJams. The idea for a Christmas CD sprang from Mystified and Tom Atwood, who are producing the Noel Project's first CD, "Splendor Bright." Artists featured on "Splendor Bright" include Jo... [see more]

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