This tune appears briefly in the Robert Zemeckis 2004 animated motion picture "The Polar Express." For just a few seconds you can hear this song being played by the Hobo atop one of the snow-covered railroad coaches on the train. As the Hero Boy comes face to face with the extraordinary presence of the Hobo sitting before a campfire, you can hear a brief snippet of the song played upon a Hurdy-Gurdy. But the momentary refrain is so short that one could easily miss it and not notice the identity of the song.
I have held the adjacent bass notes down in couplet fashion in order to simulate the sound of the Hurdy-Gurdy, an unusual sound rendered even more pronounced via the distinctive tuning of this musette accordion. The Hohner is a 4/5 reed instrument in LMMM configuration featuring "wet" musette tuning, very different from the piccolo tuning or "dry" tuning of an LMMH "concert-tuned" instrument.
Back in the 1950's this song appeared on the popular Mantovani LP album entitled "Christmas Carols" issued by Decca Records. That album quickly became a favorite in our household and still remains a favorite as re-issued on CD a few years ago on another label. The original Mantovani album was recorded at Kingsway Hall in London in 1953, but another release was issued in Stereo in 1958. What a beautiful sound from 28 strings, comprised of 18 violins, 4 cellos, 4 violas and 2 double-basses blended with woodwind, brass and percussion. The original release also featured the atmospheric organ at Kingsway Hall, adding a measure of nobility and stateliness to the overall score of these warmly remembered Carols.