Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest
This beautiful Danish Christmas carol has such a sweet, folk song sounding melody and easy words for children, that I’ve often wondered why it is not more common in the US.
Once reason might be that maybe there weren’t as many Danish people in English-speaking countries to spread it around. It is very popular in Denmark and you can watch some performances on YouTube. Here is one with orchestra and young singers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCd-zIAcx6A
Another reason might be the various texts that use this melody. The tune is found on Christmas recordings by Bing Crosby with words titled O Fir Tree Dark, O Fir Tree Dear. The lyrics are about the Christmas tree, and “the lovely Christmas story tell.”
There are other translations of the original Danish carol, sometimes translated “The Bells of Christmas Chime Once More.” Bells are mentioned in the first line in the original Danish words, and you can hear the bells in the YouTube video above.
When I decided to arrange an easy version of this lovely carol as part of my collection of elementary Christmas music for children, it was really hard to decide which words I should use with the tune. I chose this version because it is found in more hymnals and is easy for children to understand.
I arranged it in the key of C with the starting right hand thumb on D. There is one tricky spot where the hand moves and the second finger crosses over. And, of course, there is the dotted quarter note which you will have to teach by rote. You can use the London Bridge method I’ve mentioned previously.
If you don’t know this carol, look it up. It’s in public domain, so you can find versions with the lovely, sentimental 4-part harmony, which is so heartwarming at Christmas. If you have time, leave a comment if you know this carol, and by what title. Does it bring back memories? I’m curious!