God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a traditional English Christmas carol, anonymously written around 1650. In this post, we’ll cover the chords you can use for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and finally look at a fingerstyle guitar arrangement.
How to read the guitar chord charts
To clarify how to read the chord charts, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand.
For example, for the A minor chord, you use the:
- 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
- 3rd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret
- 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
- Circles represent open strings
- X means to avoid the string
You can check this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen chords
The guitar chords you can use for God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen are A minor, F Major, E Major, D minor, G Major and C Major. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.
Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.
Here are some other resources on chords:
- What are the first chords you should learn on guitar?
- 6 tips to get better at switching between chords on guitar
- 13 ways to play an F chord on guitar.
- How to play the essential 7th chords on guitar.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Melody with tabs and chords
For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this post.
When playing the chords part, continue playing the same chord when switching to a measure that doesn’t show one. For example, you would play an A minor chord for the second and third measure.
The numbers next to some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand. You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen lyrics
God rest you merry, gentlemen,
let nothing you dismay;
remember Christ, our Savior
was born on Christmas Day
to save us all from Satan’s pow’r
when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
From God our heav’nly Father
a blessed angel came
and unto certain shepherds
brought tidings of the same,
how that in Bethlehem was born
the son of God by name. (Chorus)
“Fear not,” then said the angel,
“let nothing you affright;
this day is born a Savior,
the true and radiant light,
to free all those who trust in him
from Satan’s pow’r and might.” (Chorus)
Now to the Lord sing praises,
all you within this place,
and in true love and fellowship
each other now embrace;
this holy tide of Christmas
is filled with heav’nly grace. (Chorus)
Reference: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Hymnary.org
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – guitar arrangement
In this section, we essentially put different parts together using a finger picking style method of playing. You can check out this post to learn how to finger pick on guitar.
You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.
If you like this style of playing, you can check out this post to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.
Get the free guitar practice guide here!
Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.
All the best,
Reference: God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen. Wikipedia