Good King Wenceslas

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” Good King Wenceslas ” is a popular Christmas carol that tells a story of a king braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen (December 26, the day after Christmas). During the journey, his page is about to give up the struggle against the cold weather, but is enabled to continue by following the king’s footprints, step for step, through the deep snow.

The legend is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia or Svaty Vaclav in Czech (907_935).In 1853, English hymnwriter John Mason Neale wrote the “Wenceslas” lyrics, in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore, and the carol first appeared in Carols for Christmas-Tide, 1853. Neale’s lyrics were set to a tune based on a 13th-century spring carol ” Tempus adest floridum ” (“The time is near for flowering”) first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones.

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