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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 December 2006, 11:58 GMT
Premiere of new version of carol
Gloucester Cathedral
The new version was commissioned by Gloucester cathedral
A new version of the Christmas carol, I Saw Three Ships, is to be premiered at Gloucester cathedral this weekend.

It was written, on commission, by leading British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.

The carol is to be performed for the first time by the cathedral's choir at a Christmas concert on Saturday night.

Sir Richard's works include scores for dozens of film and television shows, including Dr Who and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The choir's director of music, Andrew Nethsingha, said: "Unfortunately, [Sir Richard] is unable to join us for the premiere.

"But we look forward to welcoming representatives from his music publishers, Novello, and from the PRS Foundation and others who have generously supported this commission, which will become part of the choir's Christmas repertoire."

I Saw Three Ships is believed to have originally been sung by wandering minstrels as they travelled through England.

Three versions exist in Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs (1911), including one from Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.

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