In The Bleak Midwinter

In the Bleak Midwinter is a beautiful Christmas carol based on a poem by Christina Rossetti. There are 2 tunes that the words are typically set to – the more well known one sung by congregations across the globe is by Gustav Holst (called “Cranham”), but there is another less well known melody by Harold Darke.
This piano arrangement is based on the Holst version of In The Bleak Midwinter. It is taken from my album “10 Christmas Carols” – I hope you enjoy learning it! Have a look/listen to the piece below and then click on the link underneath the sheet music to download a FREE PDF score.

In the Bleak Midwinter Piano Sheet Music

In the Bleak Midwinter piano sheet music page 1

In the Bleak Midwinter piano sheet music page 2

In the Bleak Midwinter piano sheet music page 3

Click Here to Download In The Bleak Midwinter by Ben Dunnett piano sheet music

In The Bleak Midwinter Piano Arrangement

This quite challenging piano arrangement is in the key of F major (although it does modulate to D minor for a short section in the middle).

The arrangement requires some careful use of the pedal to extend the sound of the arpeggio chords in the left hand, but be careful to ensure the pedal lifts at the end of each bar to refresh the sound.
There is an introduction that opens the arrangement and also reappears as an interlude between the verses.
Each verse of the carol is characterised by increasing decoration of the piano right hand. The section in which the hands move up the keyboard to play at a higher pitch range will require some practice, not least because the clefs change between Bass Clef and Treble Clef in the left hand and the changes need to be highlighted in order to prevent playing the wrong notes!!

Carol Lyrics

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan;

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain,

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty 
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom Cherubim

Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom Angels

Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and Archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air;

But only His Mother

In her maiden bliss

Worshipped the Beloved
 with a kiss.

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a Shepherd

I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man

I would do my part,

Yet what I can I give Him,

Give my heart.