Enjoy the winter passing to spring, peace & love to you all:
Most folks will know this carol by its Christian title God rest ye merry gentlemen. Wikipedia mentions title variants such as “God Rest You Merry People All” or “Come rest ye merry, gentlemen” ,whereby implying that resting is merry, and not the gentlemen.
For our version I chose “Come rest ye merry gentlemen” as a more logical invitation. This title I found also in the 1917 book “The effective small home” by Mrs. Lilian (Bayliss) Green. (published by R.M. McBride).
“Off in the distance we could hear a group of men and girls singing that lovely old carol, “Come Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Let Nothing Ye Dismay.” On they came trudging past us through the snow, leaving us thrilled by their simple music.”
“God rest ye merry gentlemen” goes back also a long way.
Older reference I could find in Googlebooks :
“Such songs as ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ (old tune), the Wassail song from Sussex, or the Sheep-shearing Song from Somerset, are worthy of much study as fine examples of the old English use of modal scales”
Daniel Gregory Mason – 1915
The art of music : a comprehensive library of information for music lovers and musicians
by Mason, Daniel Gregory, 1873-1953, ed