The Holy Boy

December 23 2012

Christmas 1913.

John Ireland. Performers not stated. Published as The Holy Boy – A Carol, the third of four Preludes for piano. Composed at Christmas while Ireland was organist at St Luke’s, Chelsea and inspired by a chorister at the church called Bobby Glassby.

Ireland arranged the piece for violin (or cello) and piano (1919), string quartet (1941), string orchestra (1941). Herbert S Brown, his solicitor, added words (“Lowly, laid in a manger/With oxen brooding nigh”) for a version for voice and piano (1938). Ireland adapted this setting for the BBC Singers (1941). Other arrangements by others.

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