Some music for Christmas… The Oxen

One of our popular Christmas pieces is The Oxen, a poem by Thomas Hardy and set to music by Paul Guppy, our Musical Director.

The poem recounts the Christmas legend that descendants of the beasts who knelt in reverence at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, continue to do so on Christmas Eve to this day. Awake Ye Mortals All - West Gallery Christmas MusicHardy had included the tale in Tess of the D’Urbervilles but published it separately as a poem in 1915.

The Oxen can be heard on our CD of Christmas Music Awake Ye Mortals All but you can also listen to it (for free!) on the BBC website here.