Christmas Carols

Transcribed by Christopher Rath


It has been my family's tradition to gather together to sing carols, visit, and eat Christmas cookies on the 4 Advent Sundays preceding Christmas. My parents began doing this when I, their firstborn child, was only a couple of years old and we continue to gather today, 40-odd years later, with children, grand-children, and family friends. For many years we used carol broadsheets printed by the local newspaper publisher; however, these proved to be of variable quality and when our favourite set of carol sheets began to deteriorate I took up the task of creating carol books for the family.

Carol Booklet

I have compiled commonly sung Christmas carols (i.e., the ones I like) and put them together into booklet form. I have posted the fruit of my labours here in the hope that others will also find it useful. Although all of the words to the carols contained in the carol book are believed to be in the public domain, the resulting collection is copyrighted (not-for-profit use is specifically permitted). Note, some familiar Christmas songs (like "Frosty The Snowman", "Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer", etc.) are not in the compilation due to copyright restrictions.

There are a three different sets of carol sheets linked below: one current version and two older ones. The LaTeX set is the most out of date but does contain overhead transparency masters which are not contained in the more recent archive.

  • CarolBook--Statement Paper.doc (current, MS Word version) & CarolBook--Statement Paper.pdf (current, PDF version)---this is the most current version of my carol booklet.  The booklet is formatted to print on Statement paper (i.e., 5.5in x 8.5in).  The Statement-sized PDF file can be taken to a print shop, and a small booklet printed and stapled at very low cost.

  • (out of date FrameMaker version)---this Zip archive contains two documents (FrameMaker source & PDFs for both): a document that has been set up to print in Statement paper (i.e., 5.5in x 8.5in) and a document to print on US Legal paper. The Statement-sized PDF file can be taken to a print shop and a small booklet printed and stapled at very low cost. I used an ImageRUNNER 600 at my office to print and bind such a book using US Letter paper and this PDF file. The US Legal sized PDF is intended to be printed on Legal paper and then folded into a small un-stapled booklet (it also has fewer carols in order to fit onto two pieces of paper).

  • (out of date, TeX version)---this ZIP archive contains PDFs for a song book, song sheets, and overheads, plus the TeX source files.
  • Other Resources

    For an excellent history of the Christmas carol I heartily recommend a document on the Oxford University Press website: Introduction to The Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols. The Oxford University Press website also contains free sheet music for a number of carols.

    The primary source of copyright dates and lyrical authorship for the carols was “The Book of Common Praise”, ©1938, published by the Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, Canada. Supplementary materials used were: “The Oxford Book of Carols”, ©1928 (Twelfth impression 1943), published by Oxford University Press; “Songs of Christmas”, a carol broadsheet printed each year by The Ottawa Citizen newspaper; The English Folksongs Archive; The Oxford University Press Christmas Music Home Page; The Hymns and Carols of Christmas; and, “Christmas, 100 Seasonal Favourites”, ©1992, published by Hal Leonard Publishing Corp.

    ©Copyright 2001-2011, Christopher & Jean Rath
    Telephone: 613-824-4584
    Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
    Last updated: 2015/02/14 @ 21:33:58 ( )