“Remember, O Thou Man” was published under the title “A Christmas Carroll” in Thomas Ravenscroft’s 1611 collection, Melismata (Musical Fancies Fitting the Court, City, and Country Humours).
Ravenscroft (c. 1582–1635) was a music theorist and composer who is chiefly remembered for three collections of English folk songs, rounds, catches, street cries, vendor songs, and other anonymous music, published as Pammelia (1609), Deuteromelia (1609) and Melismata. He also wrote two treatises on music theory and a metrical psalter.
Ravenscroft’s version of “Remember, O Thou Man” contains nine verses recounting man’s fall from grace and the events of Christ’s birth. This arrangement selects four of the verses, incorporating minor variants to the text made by publishers of later editions. In keeping with the penitential character of the selected verses and the tune, the words “Render Him thanks and praise” have been substituted in verse 4 for “For this our happy day,” making this anthem an appropriate choice for the season of expectation and preparation — Advent — that precedes Christmas.
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Score (voices, organ) — $12.99