God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a traditional sacred 16th century Christmas carol of English origin. The title simply refers to being glad or joyful about the good news of Christ’s birth. An irony considering it’s one of the few Christmas songs in a minor key! References to the carol can be found centuries later in the writings of the Charles Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’.
My opening approach to this ancient carol is to include an intro based off of a D minor scale followed by playing the hymn in a fairly straight forward manner with a mixture of arpeggio patterns and big block chords in the left hand. My favorite part of the song is around the 1:49 mark where I include some descending D minor scale patterns before going back into the main melody. The song ends similarly as it began with the slow ritard to cadence on the one chord.
Listen to ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on Spotify HERE
Listen to ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on Pandora Radio HERE
Listen to ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on Apple Music HERE
Want to learn how to play ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ on your piano or keyboard? Sheet Music available HERE