The Old Man's Hat

A Christmas Entertainment for mixed chorus, narrator, soloists, flute and piano, with double bass (optional).

Music by Betty Roe

Words by Alison Taylor and Betty Roe

Published 1987 by Thames Publishing (THA978209)


The Composer suggests that the narrator and soloists (soprano, tenor and two baritones) should be members of the choir but external soloists may be used if required.


It is a cold and wet December day when three tramps meet and dream about their perfect Christmas.  The Choir sings about the excesses of the contemporary Christmas ending with "Christmas has come again, the geese are good and fat. But are there any pennies in the old man's hat?"  The Choir recalls summer and days with plenty of food but the tramps sing of how cold it is.  The Tramps exit.

The Choir sings of the star that led three kings to a stable.  The tramps reappear as the three kings and introduce themselves.  A soprano soloist sings a lullaby for the baby Jesus and the Choir joins in.  The Kings present their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, then realise that they are still only tramps.  The Choir sings that even those without a halfpenny will still be blessed by God.

Musical Numbers

  1. Drip, drop, drap
  2. I've a cold in my head
  3. What a lovely Present
  4. We remember
  5. A star in the East, beckoning
  6. Hail King from afar
  7. O lulla, lullaby