Good King Wenceslas

Origin and History | Good King Wenceslas Lyrics | Youtube Video | Music Sheets


Founded on a legend on the life of a beloved martyr acknowledged for giving alms to deprived peasants every second day of Christmas despite his magnitude as a king, Good King Wenceslas is a popular Christmas carol sung by many English Christmas carolers on the Feast of Stephen. The legend tells of how his page was about to succumb to the cold weather during one of their journeys, but was motivated to persist by following the footprints of the king, one step after another.

Origin of Good King Wenceslas

Based from the spring carol entitled Tempus adest floridum dating back to the thirteenth century, the tune of the song has captured the hearts of many due to its intricacy. The lyrics for the song tribute to the famed King were written by John Mason Neale, an English hymn writer, during the 1850’s. Neale worked in partnership with Thomas Helmore, his music editor, to create this song. The Christmas carol was featured in Carols for Christmas-Tide during that same year, which was its 1st ever appearance.

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Good King Wenceslas Lyrics

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shown the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gathering winter fuel.

Hither, page, and stand by me.
If thou know it telling:
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence,
Underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes fountain.

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear the thither.
Page and monarch, forth they went,
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.

Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger.
Fails my heart, I know not how.
I can go no longer.
Ark my footsteps my good page,
Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.

In his master's step he trod,
Where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

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Good King Wenceslas Youtube Videos

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Good King Wenceslas Music Sheet | Guitar Tab

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Good King Wenceslas Chords

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