Good King Wenceslas

English: "King Wenceslas". Made by H...
English: "King Wenceslas". Made by Hudson, Scott & Sons for Huntley & Palmers, 1913. Victoria and Albert Museum no. M.367-1983. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historical Note

"The beloved Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas" tells the story of a real tenth-century king who was well known for his generosity and Christian spirit.

Vaclav Wenceslas was born in Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Born into the royal family, Wenceslas was raised by his grandmother to be a devout Christian. His father died when he was only thirteen years old, and five years later Wenceslas became king. Young King Wenceslas ruled the land fairly, gave aid to the poor, and sought to spread Christianity throughout Bohemia.

In 1853 John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest who lived in England, heard stories of the Bohemian king's kindness and wrote "Good King Wenceslas" to inspire children to be generous on Saint Stephen's Day (December 26). The music for the song comes from a spring carol that was first published in 1582.

The Christmas song portrays Wenceslas the way the people of his time knew him - a compassionate man who was especially kind to children, orphans, and slaves."
It's a very traditional Christmas song, here it is in the Key of F, played with 4/4 time signature. I like it because just about every word is associated with a chord change. Hope you like it, too.
L.H. / R.H.

F/ACF  Good

E/ACF King

D/ADF Wen-

C/BbEG ces-

FF/ACF las

FF/ACF look'd

AF/C out

BbF/BbD on

AF/C the

BbF/A feast

G/BbCE of

F/ACF Ste-

F/ACF phen.

F/ACF When

E/ACF the

D/ADF snow

C/BbEG lay

FF/ACF round


AF/C bout,

BbF/BbD deep

AF/C and

BbF/BbD crisp

G/BbCE and

F/ACF e-

F/ACF ven.

FF/FAC bright-

FF/DFBb ly

FF/CFA shown

C/CEG the

FF/CFA moon

C/CEG that

DD/ADF night,

BbF/BbD though

AF/C the

BbF/BbD frost

G/BbCE was

F/ACF cru-

F/ACF el

F/AC When

E/AC a

DF/AD poor

C/BbCE man

Bb/BbDF came

A/ACF in

G/BbDG sight

FF/FAC gath-

FF/DFBb ring

FF/CFA win-

C/BbEG ter

FF/ACF fu-


FF/ACF el.

Silent Night
I was reading a beautiful picture book about how Father Mohr and Franz Gruber went to work in the final hours of the evening and came to write one of the world's best-known and best-loved Christmas songs - "Silent Night." It also tells how this simple song quickly spread from country to country and from language to language, and how its message of hope and peace continues to be shared throughout the world - even in times of war and strife.
 Here are the chords in the Key of Bb, with 6/8 time signature.

L.H. / R.H.

BbBb/DF Si-


BbBb/DF lent

BbF/BbD night!

BbBb/DF Ho-


BbBb/DF ly

BbF/BbD night!

FA/EbC All

FA/EbC is

FC/EbA calm,

BbBb/ DBb all

BbF/DBb is

BbBb/DF bright

EbBb/EbG Round

EbBb/EbG yon

EbG/GBb vir-


EbBb/EbG gin

BbBb/DF mother

BbBb/DF and

BbF/BbD child!

Eb/BbG Ho-

EbBb/EbG ly

EbG/GBb in-

EbA/FA fant

EbBb/EbG so

BbBb/DF ten-

BbBb/EbG der

BbBb/DF and

BbF/BbD mild,

FA/EbC Sleep

FA/EbC in

FC/EbEB heav

FA/EbC en-

FC/EbA ly

BbBb/DBb peace


F/DBb Sleep


F/BbD in

FF/AF heav-

FF/AEb en-

FEb/AC ly

BbD/Bb peace.

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