“Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” is an English carol from Cornwall with words believed to date prior to the 17th century.
Although modern choral settings of the carol typically contain the three to four verses most appropriate at Christmas, it actually contains 11 verses, which progress through a first-person narrative of Christ’s life from incarnation to death, resurrection and ascension. In the carol, “my dancing day” refers to the day of Christ’s birth; “my true love” refers to all people for whom he was born and for whom he died; and the “dance” refers to the plan of salvation and to life in union with God through Jesus Christ.
The tune that is the basis for this arrangement first appeared together with the text in William Sandys’s Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, published in 1833. Here, four verses are presented, with solos by trumpet, tuba and trombone in the first three verses and a modulation upward to the fourth verse.