The Scrap Album - Site Guide
Christmas Music Makers The voices of carol singers float in on the night air!

Not all carol-singers were welcome !

On the first night of the Christmas holidays the voices of carol singers floated in on the night air, and if they were lucky, welcomed indoors for a glass of punch and a mince pie.

“There is another aspect of the streets of London at Christmas, which requires notice, the more especially as this year it is painfully prominent - the carol singers ! Who seem to look upon themselves as privileged for the sake of the old familiar chant which they musically or unmusically pour into our ears, and who, of all ages and of both sexes, swarm in every street in numbers of which an accurate estimate would convey a somewhat alarming idea of the poverty of London - troops of unmusical beggars have made their appearance in the streets this year in numbers surpassing all precedent of experience.”
Illustrated London News December 1848

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  • Hildesheimer & Faulkner No 967
  • 102 x 140mm (4 x 5½in)

Strike up a merry tune !

Cheerful givers help the humble poor

For a few weeks before Christmas the streets of 19th century London began to assume a new aspect for London was a musical city, with many groups of music makers playing on the busy streets.

Country carol-singers

Country carol-singers Carol singers were often portrayed struggling through the snow of the countryside with only the light of their lanterns to guide them. The Christmas carol heralds the birth of the anthems and hymns throughout every ensuing year.

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  • No publisher
  • Dated by sender 1875
  • 127 x 89mm (5 x 3½in)
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  • No publisher
  • 83 x 114mm (3¼ x 4½in)
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