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The borys hede (Richard Smert, fl. 1428–1477)

The borys hede (Richard Smert, fl. 1428–1477)

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« The borys hede »

Richard Smert (active 1428–1477)

From «Nowell, nowell» 29.11.20

In the Basel Historical Museum, Barfüsserkirche


Grace Newcombe – Voice, Clavisimbalum

Amy Farnell – Voice

Marc Lewon – Voice, Plectrum lute

Rui Stähelin – Voice, Plectrum lute

Musical director: Grace Newcombe


Live concert recording: Oren Kirschenbaum

Moderated by Grace Newcombe and Marc Lewon

Picture: «December», depiction of a winter feast with musicians. Stained glass window made in England c.1450–1475. London, V&A Museum

Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell

Tydyngs gode y thyngke to telle

The borys hede that we bryng here

Be tokeneth a prince with oute pere

Ys born this day to bye us dere

Nowell ...

A bore ys a soverayn best

And acceptable in evory festivities

So mote thys lord be to moste and leste

Nowell ...

This borys hede we bryng with song

In worchyp of hym that thus sprang

Of a virgyne to redresse all wrong

Nowell ...

Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell

I am going to tell you good tidings

The boar’s head that we bring here

Is a sign that a prince without equal

Is born this day, to buy us at a high price


A boar is a noble beast

And suitable for every feast

So may this Lord be to greatest and smallest


This boar’s head we bring with song,

In worship of him that so sprang

Of a virgin, to repair all wrongs


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The Video will be released each day at 17:15, with optional English subtitles.

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03 HMB _Wilde Leute auf der Hirschjagd, Wandbehang, Basel c1468_AK © Peter Portner.jpg

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