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Desert Dancer origin? RVW Danby hymn 'Tis Winter Now (14) origin? RVW Danby hymn 'Tis Winter Now 21 Apr 14


As was his wont, Ralph Vaughan Williams harmonized an English folk song tune and set a text, "'Tis Winter Now, The Fallen Snow", by the American Unitarian (and brother of the poet) Samuel Longfellow to it. It's found with other texts now, too. The tune is identified as "Danby", for the town where he collected it, but I can't find the original song, though the tune seems familiar.

Today at my Unitarian church sang we sang the tune with the text, "Let All the Beauty We Have Known", which is #326 in the "Singing the Living Tradition" hymnal. Here's an MP3 (from another church): clicky.

I'm surprised that Mr. Google is not being more helpful. Perhaps if I was not intimidated by the stack they're in, I could find my Autumn 2006 copy of EDS/English Dance & Song that had the article about Ralph Vaughan Williams and his hymn settings.

Can anyone help? This is where I want Malcolm Douglas back... :-( Maybe anglo?

~ Becky in Long Beach


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