Whence is that Goodly Fragrance Flowing? Trad., arr. Philip Sparke

The origins of this charming French carol melody are unknown, but the tune must date well before 1728 when it was used by John Gay in his famous The Beggar's Opera. The melodies Gay used were all well-established and popular in England and since this carol tune originated in France (under the title Quelle est cette odeur agréable?) it probably had its origins back in the 17th Century.

The best-known English translation of the text is by A.B. Ramsay and the words of the carol speak of the first signs of the birth of Christ as received by the shepherds, the star that led the magi to Bethlehem and the manger scene itself.