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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Traditional English Words and Music
Merv Rowley/Ruth Randle, 2013

For December we may have found the oldest Christmas carol on record. ... God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (music possibly from the 5th century A. D. ) It was originally composed and played as a Gregorian Chant in a somber minor key. There are many differing opinions as to when it appeared in its present form. It appears to historians that, over several centuries, church laity secretly revised both the music and lyrics to make the carol give readers a feeling of joy and happiness at the news of Christ's birth and it's significance to the world!. Strange how joyous a minor tune can be! It was first published in England in the early 1800's. We are reminded that the terminology is still in a very old form of English, and does not reflect what is meant by modern terms like "Merry".

You will note that we again have used the capo at fret 2 in order to facilitate chording in the key of B-minor.  Like last month's piece, this allows those with smaller hands and/or longer fretboards to reach the longer "stretch chords" more easily. I think it also makes for smoother chord changes, with several simplified 1- and 2-finger chord shapes to provide the harmony within the tune. We are again including both tabs, for playing with or without the capo, so you can try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Your 1-3-5 Team


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Historical Links:




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If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

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  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


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