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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5221
IMEV 3315
NIMEV TM 1503
The boars head that we bring here
A Christmas carol — three quatrains (aaab) with ‘Nowell nowelle’ refrain and 4-line burden: ‘Nowell nowell nowell nowell / Tydynges gode y thyng[ke] to telle’ (repeated)
Subjects: carols, boars’ head
Versification: — four-line — aaab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: London, British Library Addit. 5665, ff. 7v-8
First Lines:
The borys hede that we bryng here
Betokeneth a prince withowte pere…
Last Lines:
…In worchyp of hym that thus sprang
Of a virgine to redresse all wrong
Nowell [nowelle]
Attributed Title: In die natiuitatis (f. 8)
Editions:
Smith, John Stafford. Musica Antiqua: a Selection of Music …. London: Preston, 1812: 1.22.
Ritson, Joseph, ed. Ancient Songs and Ballads from the Reign of King Henry the Second to the Revolution. 2 vols. London, 1829; re-ed. William Carew Hazlitt London, 1877: 2.16; 1877, 160.
Sandys, William, ed. Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London: Richard Beckley, 1833: 16.
Hampson, R. T. Medii Aevi Kalendarium. London: Kert, 1841: 1.95.
Hampson, R. T. Medii Aevi Kalendarium. London: Kert, 1841: 50-1.
Sandys, William. Christmastide its history, festivities, and carols. London: John Russell Smith, 1852: 223.
Hotten, John Camden, (alias Joshua Sylvester). A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. London, 1861 [listed as “Sylvester” in IMEV]: 157.
Bullen, Arthur Henry. Carols and Poems from the fifteenth century to the present time. London, 1866, repr. as Songs and Carols. London: John C. Nimmo, 1885 London: John C. Nimmo, 1885: 267.
Husk, William Henry. Songs of the Nativity. London, 1867: 124.
Hotten, John Camden, (alias Joshua Sylvester). Christmas Carols and Ballads. London, 1874 [listed as “Sylvester” in IMEV]: 173.
Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch. 1 Bd. Halle: Niemayer, 1895: 124.
Rickert, Edith, ed. Ancient English Christmas Carols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1910: 258.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 92; 1977, 81.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 66.
Robbins, Rossell Hope. Early English Christmas Carols. New York and London: Columbia UP, 1961: 13.
Greene, Richard Leighton, ed. A Selection of English Carols. Clarendon Medieval and Tudor Series. Oxford: Clarendon, 1962: 91.