Christmas Music Matters: The Carols of Alfred Shaddick Burt

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Happy 10th Day of Christmas!

Alfred Burt (April 22, 1920 – February 7, 1954) was an American Jazz Musician who is best known for the composition of 15 Christmas Carols.

Some of these you will know, and others you may not:

  1. “Christmas Cometh Caroling” (1942)
  2. “Jesu Parvule” (1943)
  3. “What Are the Signs” (1944)
  4. “Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind” (1945)
  5. “All on A Christmas Morning” (1946)
  6. “Nigh Bethlehem” (1947)
  7. “Christ in the Stranger’s Guise” (1948)
  8. “Sleep Baby Mine” (1949)
  9. “This Is Christmas” (also known as “Bright, Bright, the Holly Berries”) (1950)
  10. “Some Children See Him” (1951)
  11. “Come, Dear Children” (1952)
  12. “O, Hearken Ye” (1953)
  13. “Caroling, Caroling” (1954)
  14. “We’ll Dress the House” (1954)
  15. “The Star Carol” (1954)

Burt died less than 24 hours after finishing “The Star Carol,” and all of them were produced posthumously. I first hear them on one of my favorite’s  Tennessee Ernie Ford‘s Christmas specials and albums, and  Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and Nat King Cole also sang some of them.

They have been covered through the years by many artists. All of them are available at the  Family’s web site http://www.alfredburtcarols.com.

Here are some outstanding examples:

“Some Children see Him” sung by the incomparable Tennessee Ernie Ford:

Simon and Garfunkel’s 1967 recording of “The Star Carol”:

“O Hearken Ye”:

“Caroling, Caroling”:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Steven A. Armstrong
Tutor, Editor, Consultant

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