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Sing round the year

Carols are not just Christmas carols. A carol is a light, festive song to celebrate a Christian event and can be sung all round the year by young and old. Here are 18 carols selected, sung and played by Donald Swann.

“The songs on this record represent the sum of my musical wanderings in this uncertain field of the carol,” says Donald. “Because of the latitude I have allowed myself, two canticles, a spiritual, a hymn, and a round augment the list, which are, in their various moods of worship and praise, as good as the several songs of Sydney Carter which he himself describes as songs, ballads or carols.”

Some of the 'carols' are sung by the boys of Westminster School and the girls of Mayfield School, Putney with Donald Swann's superb piano accompaniment. Others feature organist Nicholas Jackson. Donald Swann sings and plays on others. It was recorded in St Mark's Church in the West End of London in 1968.

This simple animation was made in 1972 at the time of Sydney Carter's Australian tour.


Donald Swann

Donald Ibrahím Swann (30 September 1923 – 23 March 1994) was a British composer, musician and entertainer. He is best known to the general public for his partnership of writing and performing comic songs with Michael Flanders (a.k.a. Flanders and Swann).

Press quotes

“…A charming record, one which would be appreciated by young people interested in church activities.”

— Don Dunlop, The Herald

“Swann's carols… are peculiarly Swann-ish, crisp, right on target in their thrust of meaning, and witty to boot. He is aided in many by the excellent children's voices of the boys of the Westminster School, and the girls of Mayfield School, Putney…
…There is much variety in the actual performances. Swann solos occur, but there are unaccompanied choruses, a girls' chorus with triangle and piano, boys' chorus with guitars and double bass, and so on...”

— Howard Palmer, The Sun

“…The music is bright and tuneful, yet has more quality and depth than much of to-day's "modern" church music. The 18 songs are ideal for choirs (including those which whistle), congregations and children, but are specially suitable for apply listening in your own home...”

— "Egmont", Daily Examiner

Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. Here we go up to Bethlehem Sydney Carter (Traditional) :37
  2. Standing in the Rain Sydney Carter 1:48
  3. Every Star shall sing a Carol Sydney Carter 2:59
  4. Jesu Parvule Donald Swann Michael Hoban 2:36
  5. The Storke Carol Donald Swann (Anonymous) 2:06
  6. Jubilate Domino Donald Swann David Marsh 1:25
  7. Christmas Donald Swann John Betjeman 2:41
  8. The Devil wore a Crucifix Sydney Carter 1:20
  9. Psalm 95: Venite Donald Swann (Book of Common Prayer) 2:32
  10. The Clock Carol Donald Swann Paul Townsend 1:36
  11. Sanctus Clemens non Papa 1:09
  12. Judas and Mary Sydney Carter 2:03
  13. Praise the Lord who reigns above Donald Swann Charles Wesley 2:04
  14. The Fruit of the Tree Donald Swann David Marsh 1:36
  15. Dust, Dust and Ashes (Traditional) 2:47
  16. I Lie down with God Donald Swann Eleanor Hull 1:17
  17. Lord of the Dance Sydney Carter (Traditional) Arr: Sydney Carter 2:19
  18. Benedictus Donald Swann (Book of Common Prayer) 2:48



Sydney Carter

Sydney Carter (1915-2004) was an English poet, folk singer and songwriter. He has been described as a hymn-writer on the strength of his song "Lord of the Dance".

Sydney Carter

Sydney Carter (1915-2004) was an English poet, folk singer and songwriter. He has been described as a hymn-writer on the strength of his song "Lord of the Dance".

Where to buy

Sing round the year is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

Sing round the year is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$15.00 AUD
Total playing time
35 minutes 43 seconds
Release date
May 1968
© 1968 Move Records
℗ 1968 Move Records
Choral, Christmas
Catalogue number
MD 3002
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574300222