Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day

This Christmas we count down the days with an advent calendar of the 25 best Christmas carols ever written, as voted for by 50 top choral experts from the across the UK and US.

20 December: Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day

Words: Traditional English


Music: John Gardner

Though thought to find its roots in the world of medieval mystery plays, this Cornish carol was first published in 1833, when it appeared in William Sandys’s volume Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern. Describing the life of Christ in the form of a dance, the text has been set by composers from Gustav Holst to Igor Stravinsky; British composer John Gardner’s lively arrangement for choir, organ and optional percussion, written in the 1960s, is the version that found itself repeatedly voted for by our choral experts. ‘Gardner combines a catchy melody with simple but ingenious rhythmic patterns to produce an irresistible setting of this traditional English text,’ enthuses Stephen Darlington, choral director at Christ Church, Oxford. ‘You cannot fail to smile on hearing it.'

December 15: Once in Royal David's City

December 16: What Sweeter Music

December 17: Of the Father's Heart Begotten

December 18: O Come all ye Faithful


December 19: There is no Rose