Masters in This Hall

DESCRIPTION: "Masters in this hall, hear ye news today." The singer announces the good news "brought from oversea" of the birth of Jesus. The shepherds go to visit the child.
AUTHOR: Words: William Morris / Music: Tune: Marin Marais, "Marche pour les Matelots," from the opera _Alcyone_ (1706)
EARLIEST DATE: 1860 ("Antient (sic) Christmas Carols"); the tune is said to be French and to predate the lyrics
KEYWORDS: Christmas religious
REFERENCES (5 citations):
OBC 137, "Masters in this Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rickert, pp. 288-291, "Masters, in this Hall" (1 text)
Fireside, p. 288, "Masters in This Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 375, "Masters In This Hall" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Ian Bradley, _The Penguin Book of Carols_ (1999), #51, "Masters in This Hall." (1 text)

Pete Seeger, "Master in This Hall" (on PeteSeeger42)
cf. "The Female Saylor," a country dance first published in 1706 by‚Äč Raoul Auger Feuillet as "La Matelotte" and first called "The Female Saylor" in 1710, using Marin Marais' dance from _Alcyone_ (tune)
NOTES [102 words]: The carol books say that this is by WIlliam Morris and based on a French piece. But I note a curiosity. Item #56 in Richard Greene, editor, A Selection of English Carols, Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series, Oxford/Clarendon Press, 1962 (pp. 116-117) begins
Nowel, nowel, nowel,
SIng we with myrth;
Cryst is come wel,
With us to dewell,
By hys most noble byrth.
This comes from Bodleian MS. Eng. poet e. 1, one of the great carol manuscripts, of the fifteenth century. Greene, p. 223, suggests that it is a "religious imitation of a secular lyric." I can't help but wonder if this somehow influenced Morris. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: FSWB375C

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