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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".


Bonus: two songs for Christmas!


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day




Words: Henry W. Longfellow (1864)

Music: John B. Calkin (1872)

Arr: Merv Rowley 2008


          This musical selection began as a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1864, during the Civil War. Although it was entitled “Christmas Bells”, it was actually written as an open protest against the horrors of the war’s carnage. Longfellow was still mourning the recent death of his wife at the time, and had recently received notice of the serious wounding of his son, Charles, a soldier in the Union Army. It was not until 1872 that this poem came to the attention of a noted musical composer named John Baptiste Calkin who had written a composition some years earlier, called “Waltham”. It is he to whom we attribute the origin of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Calkin found it necessary to modify his music and to eliminate several verses from Longfellow’s poem to emphasize the theme of Christmas and the doctrine of “Peace on earth, good will to men.”




            About the music :  Readers may find another version of this poem, set to different music by Joseph Mainzer (1801-1851).  Perhaps the most well-known and popular version of this song was written by John D. Marks, who changed both music and lyrics but retained the same title. This version is under copyright (1959 and 1970).


Notice the ease with which we can play the chord progressions in line two because of the stacking of notes by the 1-3-5 tuning.


Your 135 Team


Download files 


I Heard_The_Bells_On_Christmas_Day.pdf


I Heard_The_Bells_On_Christmas_Day.tef


I Heard_The_Bells_On_Christmas_Day.MID


Historical Links:  






Down In Yon Forest



Traditional English Carol

Arr: Ruth Randle, 2008


There can be no doubt about the antiquity of this music. An early  version appears in a manuscript by Richard Hill (ca. 1500 A.D) –


Lully, lullay. Lully, lullay.

The falcon hath borne my make away,

He bare him up,he bare him down,

He bare him to an orchard brown.


In that orchard there was a hall

That was hanged with purple and pall.

And in that hall there was a bed.

It was hanged with gold so red.


And in that bed there lieth a knight,

His wounds bleeding day and night

By that bed's side kneeled a may,

And she weepeth both night and day.


And by that bedside there standeth a stone

‘Corpus Christi’,written thereon.


          Today, there are two versions that are played and sung. The older one, arranged by Ruth, consists of music and text compiled by Ralph V. Williams. The second version was more recently collected in North Carolina by John Jacob Niles, who also composed the music (which is under copyright). Both are shown in the first two Historical Links listed below. The third link is a lovely harp rendition of the song; you will notice that the singer uses a slightly different title line, Down In Yon Valley.


            It seems most likely that this composition was the work of one or more bards or  wandering troubadours sometime between the end of the Medieval and the beginning of the Renaissance periods in England. Over a period of many years, the lyrics were modified and altered in true folk music tradition. The lyrics reflect doctrines and liturgy of the Holy Church of Rome. Historically, it was still a century or more before the realms of King Henry VIII, Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth, the Protestant Reformation in England or the founding of the Church of England had occurred. During this unsettled period, Christmas was not yet celebrated in a joyous spirit, for it was not a time of “peace on Earth" nor "good will to men”. We can see from the variety of lyrics shown here how they were altered as monarchs and religious doctrines changed.


Your 1-3-5 Team




Download files 








Historical Links:








www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIBTfr7r-SY a lovely harp and vocal rendition


  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

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.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

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


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





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