A (Windsor) Christmas Carol

In April 1901 Major Charles Grantley Campbell Norton was admitted as a Military Knight. With him to Windsor came his wife, the popular guitarist, singer and songwriter, Mina Norton. Mrs Norton could sing in eight languages and had performed before the Royal Family.

The St George’s Chapel Archives holds a collection of the Nortons’ letters, notebooks and song lyrics written by Mina Norton [SGC M.1205]. Included in this is a Christmas carol that she wrote and set to music for their first Christmas living in the Lower Ward. The third verse is all about their new community of neighbours in the College of St George.

Oh! Christmas! time of joy and mirth,
The advent of our Saviour’s birth,
When all around breathes peace on earth,
Oh! happy Christmas-tide.
The time when heart-felt prayers ascend
To God for blessings on each friend;
Oh! may Thy holy joy descend
On us this Christmas-tide

God bless our King and Royalty;
May all his subjects loyal be,
And all unite in praising Thee
This joyful Christmas-tide.
And bless our soldiers now at war,
Guard those at sea when storm clouds lower;
May every nation feel Thye power
This glorious Christmas-tide.

God bless the Dean and clergy, too,
Who strive Thy holy will to do;
The organist and choir, who
Praise Thee this Christmas-tide.
And bless the gallant knights so bold,
And all within these precincts old;
Oh! may our present Governor hold
His post next Christmas-tide.

And bless, Lord, those now racked with pain,
Restore them soon to health again;
Oh! may Thy Heavenly peace remain
With them this Christmas-tide.
And when around dark shadows creep,
May angels soothe our long last sleep,
And bear our souls on high to keep
Eternal Christmas-tide.

Words by Mina Norton, Henry VIII Gateway, Windsor Castle, Christmas 1901.

The Queen's Free Chapel. The Chapel of the Most Honourable and Noble Order of the Garter. The Chapel of the College of St George.