The Sans Day Carol
This carol is another instance of a melody (which may have been in existence for many centuries) being collected and notated and thereafter becoming well known across the world. It owes it’s name to the Cornish village of St. Day (pronounced in Cornish as Sans Day) which itself was named after a Breton Saint. The words venerate the holly tree as ‘the first tree in the greenwood’.
The melody is jaunty and lively, with a more playful quality to it than many other carols. In this arrangement, the tune gets passed around between the different instruments in a series of verses, with each instrument of the quartet giving it a different treatment.