The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Bethlehem City - Notes

For Christmas, The Feast of the Holy Innocents, and The Epiphany.

Words: Anonymous, New Carollls for this Merry Time of Christmas (London: 1661)

Music: Multiple Tunes

Roud 1378.

Rejoice and be merry,
     set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour,
     was born at this tide:

In Bethlehem City,
     in Jury it was,
For Joseph and Mary
     together did pass:

And therefore be merry,
     set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour,
     was born at this Tide.

First verse of In Bethlehem City (1661) - from New Carolls for this Merry Time of Christmas (1661)

 

The Texts.

This very popular carol has been in print for over 350 years, was found throughout Great Britain, and is included in all of the major Victorian collections. It made the jump across the Atlantic to be included in at least four American shape-note song collections in 1778 (Billings, Boston), 1818 (Metcalf), 1820 (Wyeth), and between 1800 and 1830, in Catherine Alderice's 4-part shape note song book from near Emmetsburg, MD. It occurs under at least six names. Finally, William E. Studwell writes that "A derivative of this carol was created in the Appalachian region" — but he doesn't give a name (I suspect he is referring to one of these shape-note collections, possibly Samuel Metcalf, Kentucky Harmonist (1818).

A measure of its popularity is the number of collections that contain the lyrics and sheet music reproduced at the bottom of this page (22 collections, plus others that are text only or where I do not have access to the volume, such as Edgar Seddings, 1860).

The authorities agree that the earliest known version of this family of songs was a song called "In Bethlehem City" — 13 stanzas of two lines in 11-syllable meter, with a refrain — which is thought to have been first published in New Carolls For This Merry Time of Christmas (London, 1661). The only known copy is held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, but it has been scanned as part of the Early English Books project, and has been been reprinted. No tune was printed, but the reader was referred to the tune "Why weep ye" (of which no copy has been located, but which is thought to be possibly of Scottish origin). Early versions have also been found in Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire.

Ordinarily, we would expect that a song of such age would have first appeared in manuscript form, having come from the oral tradition. If this was the case, however, we haven't found any evidence of such earlier traditions for this carol.

There is this version of In Bethlehem City - Johnson Ballads 1365, ca. 1770, (right) that also begins with what was originally the burden: "Rejoice and Be Merry."

Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside,
Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on this tide,
In Bethlehem city in Jewry it was,
Where Joseph and Mary together did pass.

CHORUS.
And therefore be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide.

Interestingly, of the versions that I've seen so far, this is the one that is closest to the original, in that it consists of 11 2-line stanzas of 11 syllables (excluding the first verse, which tacks the original burthen onto the front of the first verse); the two verses missing are verses 8 and 12.

Another version of In Bethlehem City is also from the Bodleian Library, the broadside Douce adds. 137(45), dated 1826. The first verse is the same as in "Johnson Ballads 1365," although the chorus is a bit longer:

Chorus:
And therefore be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide,
And there to be tax'd with many others did go,
For Caesar Augustus had ordered it so.

Since then there have been several songs based on this carol and with this title, but which do not share the same structure. In general, they feature five or six, 4-line stanzas. They all share the same themes, and often identical words from the original by combining two, 2-line stanzas together.

Versions of this carol on this site include:

 

There are also several unrelated songs with similar titles, including In Bethlehem City, On Christmas-day Morn by G. R. Woodward, from The Cowley Carol Book. Another song with a similar title was authored by Walter Ehret; its sheet music can be found at the Music Notes web site: In Bethlehem City. By the way, it is not found in Ehret and George K. Evans, The International Book of Christmas Carols (1963, 1980), although Ehret's setting of "A Virgin Unspotted" can be found at pp. 42-43.

 

A Virgin Most Pure

As early as 1743, the carol became "A Virgin Most Pure."  The source for this version is William Knapp, Anthems for Christmas-Day (London: Robert Brown, 1743), pp. 20-21. Like "A Virgin Unspotted," the original carol has been converted into 4-line, 11 syllable stanzas, in this case, six of them, with a chorus.  A_Virgin_Most_Pure-Knapp-1743-21.jpg (95859 bytes)A_Virgin_Most_Pure-Knapp-1743-20.jpg (103604 bytes)

1. A Virgin most pure, the Prophet foretold

2. Through Bethlehem City, In Jury it was

3. But Mary's full Time being come as we find

4. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild

5. To teach us Humility, all this was done

6. Then presently after the Shepherds did spy

Very early on, the words to this carol were being edited, a trend that has not ceased to this day. A side-by-side comparison of the earliest version of "In Bethlehem City" (1661) and "A Virgin Most Pure" (1743) demonstrates the differences.

In Bethlehem City

Source: New Carolls For This Merry Time of Christmas (London, 1661).

A Virgin Most Pure

Source: William Knapp, Anthems for Christmas-Day (London, 1743).

  1. A Virgin most pure, as the Prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Sav'our which now we behold,
To be our Redeemer from Death, Hell and Sin,
Which Adam’s Transgression involved us in.
Burden
And therefore be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour, was born at this Tide.
Refrain
Then let us be
Merry, set Sorrow away,
Our Saviour Christ Jesus was born on this Day.
1. In Bethlehem City, in Jury it was,
For Joseph and Mary together did pass:

2. There to be taxed, with many one mo[re],
For Cæsar commanded the same should be so.

2. Through Bethlehem City, in Jury it was,
That Joseph and Mary together did pass;

And for to be Taxed, with Mary straightways,
Old Cæsar commanded, he quickly obeys.

3. And when they were entered the City so fair,
People from all parts, to be taxed were there.

4. When Joseph and Mary, whose substance was small,
Could not have in the Inn no lodging at all:

3. But Mary's full Time being come, as we find,
She brought forth her First-born to serve all Mankind;

The Inn being full; for this Heavenly Guest,
No place there was found where to lay him to rest.

5. Unless in the Stable they would abide,
They might have no other, even at that tide.

6. Their Lodging so simple, they took in no scorn,
And before the next morning our Saviour was born

 

7. When Mary had swaddled her young Son so sweet,
Even in an Ox=Manger she laid him to sleep.

8. The King of all Glory to the world being brought,
Small store of fine Cloathing, was there to be sought:

4. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild,
Soon wrapt up in Swaddlings this Heavenly Child;

Contented, she laid him where Oxen did feed,
The great God of Nature approv'd of the Deed.

9. Then God sent an Angel from heaven so high,
To certain poor Shepherds, in fields that did lye:

10. And bid them no longer, in sorrow to stay,
Because that their Saviour was born on that day;

5. To teach us Humility, all this was done,
Then learn we hence haughty pride for to shun;

A Manger's his Cradle, who came from Above,
Our great God of Mercy, of Peace and of Love.

11. And presently after the shepherds did spy
A number of Angels appear in the Sky;

12. Which joyfully talked, and sweetly did sing,
To God be all Glory, our Heavenly King;

6. Then presently after, the Shepherds did spy
Vast Numbers of Angels to stand in the Sky;

So merrily Talking, so sweet they did Sing,
All Glory and Praise to our Heavenly King.

13. Now certain wise Princes thought it not unmeet,
To lay their rich Offerings at our Saviours feet;

 

 

By the early 1800s, both Gilbert and Sandys print "A Virgin Most Pure," with lyrics that slightly diverged from each other. Gilbert gave seven verses, while Sandys gives eight; each also gives a similar but slightly different tune (unrelated to that by Knapp). These versions are also found in a number of broadsides of the day. It is interesting that Sandys in 1833 is much closer to the 1661 original than was Knapp in 1743.

 

In Bethlehem City

Source: New Carolls For This Merry Time of Christmas (London, 1661).

A Virgin Most Pure

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London, 1833).

 

1. A virgin most pure, as the Prophets do tell,
Hath brought forth a Babe, as it hath befell,
To be our Redeemer from death, hell and sin,
Which by Adam’s transgression hath wrapt us all in.

Burden
Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour, was born at this tide:
Refrain
Rejoice, and be you merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide.
1. In Bethlehem City, in Jury it was,
For Joseph and Mary together did pass:

2. There to be taxed, with many one mo[re],
For Cæsar commanded the same should be so.

2. In Bethlehem city, in Jury it was,
Where Joseph and Mary together did pass,

And there to be taxed, with many one more,
For Cæsar commanded the same should be so.

3. And when they were entered the City so fair,
People from all parts, to be taxed were there.

4. When Joseph and Mary, whose substance was small,
Could not have in the Inn no lodging at all:

3. But, when they had entered the city so far
The number of people so mighty was there,

That Joseph and Mary, whose substance was small,
Could get in the city no lodging at all.

5. Unless in the Stable they would abide,
They might have no other, even at that tide.

6. Their Lodging so simple, they took in no scorn,
And before the next morning our Saviour was born

4. Then were they constrained in a stable to lie,
Where oxen and asses they used to tie;

Their lodging so simple, they held it no scorn,
But against the next morning our Saviour was born.

7. When Mary had swaddled her young Son so sweet,
Even in an Ox=Manger she laid him to sleep.

8. The King of all Glory to the world being brought,
Small store of fine Cloathing, was there to be sought:

5. The King of all Glory to this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen to wrap him was brought; [verses reversed]

When Mary had swaddled her young Son so sweet,
Within an ox manger she laid him to sleep.

9. Then God sent an Angel from heaven so high,
To certain poor Shepherds, in fields that did lye:

10. And bid them no longer, in sorrow to stay,
Because that their Saviour was born on that day;

6. Then God sent an Angel from Heaven so high,
To certain poor Shepherds in fields where they lie,

And bid them no longer in sorrow to stay,
Because that our Saviour was born on this day.

11. And presently after the shepherds did spy
A number of Angels appear in the Sky;

12. Which joyfully talked, and sweetly did sing,
To God be all Glory, our Heavenly King;

7. Then presently after, the Shepherds did spy
A number of Angels appear in the sky,

Who joyfully talked, and sweetly did sing,
To God be all Glory, our Heavenly King.

13. Now certain wise Princes thought it not unmeet,
To lay their rich Offerings at our Saviours feet;

8. Three certain Wise Princes, they thought it most meet
To lay their rich offerings at our Saviour’s feet;

Then the Shepherds consented, and to Bethlehem did go,
And when they came thither, they found it was so.

 

Sandys' note concerning references in verse 4:

"Where oxen and asses." The common tradition of the ox and the ass in the manger is not mentioned in the New Testament, but is supported by man of the early fathers. The Bee Hive of the Romish Church (p. 198. b.) says, that the idea is taken from Isaiah, chap. i. v. 3. "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib."

Editor's Note: Concerning the issue of the oxen and the asses, I would also recommend the note by R. Martin Pope following Hymn For Christmas Day - Prudentius.

A_Virgin_Most-Pure-Husk-Songs_Nativity-1868-p192.jpg (69239 bytes)Both Gilbert and Sandys published West Country versions, and because of the overall similarity of the two sets of lyrics, the editors of The New Oxford Book of Carols were of the opinion that they likely had a common derivation, perhaps a broadside or chapbook. Although Sandys' tune was "deadly dull, and has unfortunately passed into common use through its inclusion in Husk's Songs of the Nativity," [left] the editors liked Gilbert's version, saying that it was a "splendid tune and bass," and that his source was likely a gallery manuscript.

Sandys' lyrics and music would also be reprinted by Chappell in National English Airs, Carol #193 (Lyrics-1840, p. 146; Music-1839, p. 94) and in Popular Music of the Olden Time (1859).

Dr. John Julian, in his Dictionary of Hymnology (Vol. 1, page 211), tells us that the late Edmund Sedding merged and rearranged the tunes given by Gilbert and Sandys, and then published this new setting in his first Set of Ancient Christmas Carols, arranged for four voices. Dr. Julian also writes that the melody is a the seventh or Mixo-Lydian mode. I hope to obtain a copy on interlibrary loan.

Joshua Sylvester, in his A Garland of Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern (London: John Camden Hotten, 1861), p. 61,  gives a version of the lyrics that begin:

A Virgin most pure, as the Prophets do tell,
Hath brought forth a Babe, as it hath befell, ...

He noted that this carol "has enjoyed great popularity for many years, being found on nearly all single collections of carols. Throughout the West it is a great favorite." He also mentions that he has an old broadside, printed in Birmingham, that has a different version of the carol, and that its' first verse begins:

"A virgin unspotted the prophets foretold,
Should bring forth a Saviour, which now we behold,
To be our Redeemer from death, hell, and sin,
Which Adam's transgression involved us in."

In his University Carol Book, Eric Routley included A Virgin Most Pure, with the words and tune adapted from Davies Gilbert. Routley added: "A corrupt (but still pleasant) form of the tune, inaccurately noted by [William] Sandys, was printed in Bramley and Stainer" and then referred the reader to his book The English Carol. There, Routley first observes that "Gilbert's ... is the more unusual and attractive; but Sandys's is a rollicking good tune." He reproduces a total of seven tunes, beginning with Gilbert & Sandys (Ex. 16) and concluding with the version found by Cecil Sharp in Shopshire (Ex. 22).

Other tunes are those from the West Country given in the Oxford Book of Carols, #114 and #139 (a Midlands version from Lucy Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland in English Country Songs, p. 56), and a tune inspired by "Admiral Benbow" (via Chappell) found in The English Hymnal, #29 (the tune name is "A Virgin Unspotted"). Routley has the opinion that all the tunes except that found by Sharp are "cousins."

Cecil Sharp, as noted above, collected a version of the Gloucestershire tune (and the lyrics to "A Virgin Unspotted") from from Mr. Henry Thomas at Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire. See Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 36-7.

William Henry Husk's Songs of the Nativity (1868) included three carols which contained parts of this carol. In addition to a version of A Virgin Most Pure, found at page 30, there were two new carols that included some identical verses of this carol: In The Reign Of Great Caesar (pp. 56-58) and Come Rejoice, All Good Christians (pp. 65-67).

Also found in A. H. Bullen, A Christmas Garland (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885), pp. 61-3, and W. Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time, Vol. 2, pp. 755-56. (London: Chappell & Co., 1859).

Versions of "A Virgin Most Pure" on this web site include:

 

A Virgin Unspotted

As is often the case, this carol continued to show changes as time passed. The first change was by Rev. Arthur Bedford  (1668-1745) the author of several "curious works on music and the stage," according to William Henry Husk — about the year 1734, when he printed the earliest version of "A Virgin Unspotted." As a side note, Rev. Bedford gave a curious etymology of the word "carol" in his text. Husk, in Songs of the Nativity, was not impressed:

Mr. Bedford, in the title of the carol, has given us a singular etymological derivation of the word carol from Carolus; viz. "A Christmas carol, so called because such were in use in K. Charles I. Reign."! The reader of the present volume will not, it is feared, entertain a very high opinion of Mr. Bedford's antiquarian learning, at least on the subject of Christmas carols.

I haven't been able to locate Rev. Bedford's version, but will keep looking. That version may be contained in a sermon that he delivered in that year.

The oldest version that I've seen is The Virgin Unspotted found in John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist (1753). Arnold's version looks very close to that given by Knapp just 10 years earlier, with the addition of verses 3, 4, and 5. However, these additions would not be retained in the future. The version printed by Bramley and Stainer in the very influential Christmas Carols New and Old (ca. mid-1860s), followed Sandys from 1833, who, as we have seen, remained very true to the earliest version that we have from 1661.

A Virgin Unspotted

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca. mid-1860s), Carol #3.

The Virgin Unspotted

Source: John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist (London: Robert Brown, 1753), Part IV, pp. 5-6. For four voices.

1. A Virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Savior, which now we behold.
To be our Redeemer from death, hell and sin,
Which Adam's transgression had wrapped us in.

1. A Virgin unspotted, the Prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Saviour, which now we behold.
To be our Redeemer from Death, Hell and Sin,
Which Adam's transgression involved us in.

Chorus
Aye and therefore be merry, set sorrow aside,
Christ Jesus, our Savior, was born on this tide.

Chorus
Then let us be Merry, cast Sorrow away,
Our Saviour, Christ Jesus was born on this Day.

2. At Bethlehem city in Jewry, it was
That Joseph and Mary together did pass,
All for to be taxed with many one more,
Great Cesar commanded the same should be so. Chorus
2. Through Bethlehem city in Jury it was,
That Joseph and Mary together did pass;
And for to be taxed when thither they came,
Since Caesar Augustus commanded the same.
     Chorus. Then let us be Merry, &c.
3. But when they had entered the city so fair,
A number of people so mighty was there,
That Joseph and Mary, whose substance was small,
Could find in the inn there no lodging at all. Chorus
3. But Mary's full Time being came as we find,
She brought forth her First-born to save all Mankind:
The Inn being full, for this heav'nly Guest,
No Place there was found where to lay him to rest.
     Chorus. Then let us be Merry, &c.
4. Then were they constrained in a stable to lie,
Where horses and asses they used for to tie:
Their lodging so simple they took it no scorn,
But against the next morning our Saviour was born. Chorus
4. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild,
Soon wrapped up in Swaddling this heav'nly Child,
Contented she laid him where Oxen do feed:
The great God of Nature approv'd of the Deed.
     Chorus. Then let us be Merry, &c.
5. The King of all Kings to this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen to wrap Him was sought,
But when she had swaddled her young Son so sweet,
Within an ox manger she laid Him to sleep. Chorus
5. To teach us Humility all this was done,
Then learn we from hence haughty Pride for to shun:
A Manger his Cradle, who came from above,
The great God of Mercy, of Peace, and of Love.
     Chorus. Then let us be Merry, &c.
6. Then God sent an angel from Heaven so high,
To certain poor shepherds in fields where they lie,
And bade them no Longer in sorrow to stay,
Because that our Saviour was born on this day. Chorus
6. Then presently after the Shepherds did spy
Vast numbers of Angels to stand in the Sky;
So merrily talking, so sweet they did sing,
All Glory and Praise to our heav'nly King.
     Chorus. Then let us be Merry, &c.
7. Then presently after the shepherds did spy
Vast numbers of Angels to stand in the sky;
They joyfully talk and sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory, our heavenly King. Chorus
 
8. To teach us humility all this was done,
And learn we from thence haughty pride for to shun:
A manger His cradle who came from above,
The great God of mercy, of peace, and of love. Chorus
 

The 1753 Arnold version, with some changes, has been repeated frequently. It is found in A Good Christmas Box (1846), and in numerous broadsides of the era. This version was also collected from Mrs. Wilson, near King's Langley, Herts., and published in Lucy Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland, English Country Songs (1893).

William Henry Husk gives another pair of differences that have arisen. In his notes prior to "A Virgin Most Pure," he gives two variations in the first verse of "A Virgin Unspotted:"

"A Virgin unspotted the prophets did tell
Should bring forth a Saviour, as now it befell," &c

And --

"A Virgin unspotted, as Prophets foretold
Hath brought forth a young Son, which now we behold," &c

He also notes that "there is yet another variation commending with the burthen 'Rejoice And Be Merry,' and otherwise differing from the present."

Joshua Sylvester, in Christmas Carols - Ancient and Modern (circa 1861) noted that he had collected "A Virgin Unspotted" from an old broadside printed at Birmingham.

In 1978, R. Gillmann created a version of this carol for the musical group "Chanticleer," using the setting "Judea" created in 1778 by William Billings (1746 – 1800) and first published in his The Singing Master's Assistant (Boston, 1778). It appeared on their Christmas CD, "Sing We Christmas." Gillmann wrote:

The carol is a retelling of the Christmas story in Elizabethan English. The Chanticleer recording of Billings' tune (Sing We Christmas) shows the carol's beauty. I tried to keep the revisions to a minimum and retain the Elizabethan feel. Awkward accents on words ending in "ed" were changed and clarity improved.

For more information about the group 'Chanticleer,' see A Virgin Unspotted. Created in 1978, the group's focus is the vocal music of the medieval and Renaissance periods, using only male voices, as was the tradition in most churches during the Renaissance. Originally nine members, now the group is composed of 13 individuals. The group has created a number of Christmas Albums.

Also found in Roy Ringwald's Book Of American Carols (2004) with slightly different lyrics and arrangement.

Versions of "A Virgin Unspotted" on the web site include:

 

Rejoice And Be Merry, Set Sorrow Aside

Finally, there is the version that begins with what was originally the burden: "Rejoice and Be Merry." Because this is a form of the original (which appears to begin with "Rejoice and etc."), I've given all these versions the name of "In Bethlehem City."

As we have seen, this carol has morphed into a number of different versions of songs, as indicated by a variety of titles / first lines:

Note: There may be additional versions of "Rejoice and Be Merry." A review of the Broadsides from the Bodleian Library is pending. At least four broadsides are known to contain this carol.

And within each of these general categories, there are variations in the lyrics. A fuller listing of such variants is below.

The carol has appeared in one form or another in most of the old collections of songs, and was a popular subject for the broadside trade. Interestingly, it almost never appears in hymnals.

William Hone included this carol in his list of 89 carols currently published (in broadside form), Christmas Carols now annually Printed, but he entered two of the versions as different carols: Rejoice And Be Merry, and A Virgin Most Pure As The Prophets Did Tell.

 

In The Oxford Book of Carols (1928), the lyrics are those given by Gilbert, "A Virgin Most Pure," although they note that "There is a printed version of 1734" — presumably that by Rev. Arthur Bedford; unfortunately, they do not note the differences between the two, if any. They note that Husk gives three versions, and then give three tunes:

(1) The tune printed by Gilbert,

(2) the tune from Cecil's Sharp's English Folk-Carols, noted by him from Mr. Henry Thomas at Chipping Sodbury, and

(3) the tune noted by Cecil Sharp in Shropshire, 1911, and printed in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol. v, p. 24.

 

In The New Oxford Book of Carols (1992), Keyte and Parrott included two separate entries.  First, they give an 18th Century American version of "The Virgin Unspotted" as Carol #80, pp. 284-285, with the music from William Billings, The Singing Master's Assistant (1778), with verse 1 from Billings and verses 2-6 from John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmist. 4th Edition. (London, 1756).

The first lines of the six verses:

  1. A virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold

  2. Through Bethlehem city, in Jury, it was

  3. But Mary's full time being come, as we find

  4. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild

  5. To teach us humility all this was done

  6. Then presently after, the shepherds did spy.

Text of Verse 1 from Billings:

A Virgin unspotted, [the]* Prophet foretold
Should bring forth a Saviour which now we behold
To be our Redeemer from Death, Hell & sin.
Which Adam's transgression involved us in.

     Then let us be merry put Sorrow away
     Our Saviour Christ Jesus was born on this Day.

* Note: The bracketed material substitutes for an unknown symbol in the handwriting of Mr. Billings.

They had a second entry, Carol #143 for "A Virgin Unspotted | A Virgin Most Pure" with three tunes.

These two lists of the first phrase in each verse point out the differences in the verses that have evolved over time, beginning with Knapp in 1743.

Second Setting  Third Setting
  1. A virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold

  2. Through Bethlehem city, in Jewry, it was

  3. But Mary's full time being come, as we find

  4. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild

  5. To teach us humility all this was done

  6. Then presently after, the shepherds did spy.

  1. A virgin most pure, as the prophets do tell.

  2. In Bethlehem Jewry a city there was

  3. But when they had entered the city so fair

  4. Then were they constrained in a stable to lie

  5. The King of all kings to this world being brought

  6. Then God sent an angel from heaven so high

  7. Then presently after, the shepherds did spy.

In addition, we have the 8th verse from Sandys which begins: "Three certain Wise Princes, they thought it most meet." See A Virgin Most Pure - Sandys, 1833.

 

Tunes for This Carol

Several tunes have been used for this carol; the listing of settings below attests to its popularity.

As noted above, the earliest tune reference was in New Carolls, which directed the reader to the tune of "Why weep ye." This tune, unfortunately, is not known.

The first tune that we have a score for was found in The Compleat Psalmodist (1741) by John Arnold, of Great Warley, Essex, in a four-part setting for "A Virgin Unspotted" (which I found in  the Fifth Edition of 1761, pp. 376-377):

Virgin-Unspotted_Compleat-Psalmist-1761-II-376.jpg (105741 bytes) Virgin-Unspotted_Compleat-Psalmist-1761-II-377.jpg (97714 bytes)

Source: John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist. Fifth Edition. (London: Robert Brown, 1761), pp. 376-377. In the edition of 1753, the setting was found in Part IV, pp. 5-6.

Another early tune was "Christmas Hymn" by William Knapp, first printed in Anthems for Christmas Day (London: R. Brown, 1743), pp. 20-21, to the words "A Virgin Most Pure." A_Virgin_Most_Pure-Knapp-1743-20.jpg (103604 bytes) A_Virgin_Most_Pure-Knapp-1743-21.jpg (95859 bytes)

Knapp's tune, known as "Christmas Hymn," would be frequently reprinted, although his name was not always attached. Some examples include:

Note: The source document, Anthems for Christmas-Day, is extremely rare. There is no entry for it in WorldCat, which tells me that there is no copy in any lending library in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, or the U.S. A single copy was located at the website of The Boston Athenæum: Anthems for Christmas-Day.

 

Both Gilbert Davies and William Sandys printed this carol, plus tunes from their native Cornwall. Their words differed slightly, which the editors of The New Oxford Book of Carols think may indicate a remote common source in the West Country, possibly a chap book or a broadside. Their tunes also differ slightly. The tune given by Sandys was reproduced in both Husk and Bramley & Stainer.

In general, the authorities feel that the tune given by Sandys is the lesser of the two.

Gilbert, A Virgin Most Pure (1822)

 

Sandys, A Virgin Most Pure (1833)

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Sandys' lyrics and music would also be reprinted by Chappell in National English Airs, Carol #193. (Lyrics-1840, p. 146; Music-1839, p. 94), and in Popular Music of the Olden Time (1859).

The Sandys' tune was reproduced in the highly influential Christmas Carols New and Old (Vol. III, ca. 1878) by Bramley and Stainer, Carol #3, A Virgin Unspotted.

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Sandys' tune would also be published in William Henry Husk's Songs of the Nativity (1868):

A_Virgin_Most-Pure-Husk-Songs_Nativity-1868-p192.jpg (69239 bytes)

 

In Bramley and Stainer we find a second version of the tune, "A Virgin Unspotted," but not attached to those lyrics. Instead, that tune is matched to another carol for the Nativity, Carol No. XXVI, "The Incarnation" (which begins "The Great God of Heaven"). Dr. John Julian in his Dictionary of Hymnology, Vol. 1, p. 213, gives us an interesting bit of history concerning this tune and these lyrics. He wrote that Bramley and Stainer had received "several manuscript copies of the tune taken orally, agreeing with that which they have printed," and which they had every reason to believe was the one originally used for "A Virgin Unspotted."

However, from Gloucestershire, they obtained a second tune that was sung to 'A Virgin Unspotted,' "but differing widely from its more usual form." Indeed, "It was considered so beautiful that Dr. Stainer got his co-editor to arrange other words for it." Dr. Julian concluded:

Thus we are indebted to the happy accident of a variation in the melody for another carol on the Nativity, ”The Great God of Heaven is Come Down to Earth,” equal to the former, "A Virgin Unspotted” in the clearness and interest of its narrative, and far surpassing it in depth of thought, and elegance of diction."

This carol was later included in The English Hymnal, Carol #29 (1906).

Sheet Music from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1871), No. XXVI, "The Great God of Heaven."

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Ralph Dunstan, The Cornish Song Book (London: Reid Bros., Ltd., 1929), p. 88, included the 1822 Gilbert tune in his book, and then gave us this very interesting quote:

A_Virgin_Most_Pure_88.jpg (148552 bytes)"The Rev. G. H. Doble, M.A., Vicar of Wendron, writes that "'this form of the melody of A Virgin most Pure is far the best, richest, and most correct. I do not believe it has been reprinted in the correct form since Davies Gilbert's time.'

"The tune is in the 7th (Mixo-Lydian) Mode, and is probably the finest Carol-Melody ever written in that Mode."

 

Another popular tune was based on "Admiral Benbow." Concerning that tune, William Chappell wrote:Adm_Benbow-Chappell-Popular_Music-2-1859-p642.jpg (126900 bytes)

The tune of Admiral Benbow is the vehicle of several country songs at the present time, and used for Christmas carols. In the month of January last, Mr. Samuel Smith noted it down from the singing of some carollers at Marden, near Hereford, to the words commending, —

"A virgin unspotted the prophets foretold."

Source: William Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time. Volume 2 of 2. (London: Cramer, Beale & Chappell, 1859), p. 642. Note that Chappell gives the lyrics to "A Virgin Most Pure," not "A Virgin Unspotted."

Lucy Broadwood wrote that the tune printed by Chappell was from Herefordshire, as he explained, but that "The rest of the words are the same as the Northamptonshire carol, 'In Bethlehem City.' " That tune was one of the two published in English Country Songs (1893) by Lucy Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland:

A Virgin Unspotted, pp. 78-79
From Herefordshire, based on 'Admiral Benbow'
In Bethlehem City, pp. 56-57
From Mrs. Wilson, near King's Langley, Herts.
 

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Another tune was found in Shropshire by Cecil J. Sharp, who published them in English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 36-7, under the title "A Virgin Unspotted." Sharp gives four verses:

1. The Virgin unspotted the Prophets foretold...
2. Through Bethlehem city, in Judah, it was...
3. Now Mary's full time being come, as we find...
4. Then presently after the shepherds did spy...

He then gives these notes:

Sung by the late Mr. Henry Thomas of Chipping Sodbury.

The first and second stanzas are exactly as Mr. Thomas sang them to me. The third lines of the second and fourth stanzas, being obviously corrupt, have been amended; while the last word of the concluding stanza, “Son,” has been altered to “King.”

The words in the text are almost identical with those printed on broadsides by Wood of Birmingham [right] and Cotton of Tamworth. In making the above mentioned alterations I have been guided by these broadsides, from one of which, in all probability, Mr. Thomas originally learned his words.

Traditional versions of this carol, with tunes, are printed in Davies Gilbert’s [1822] and [William] Sandys’s collections [1833].

Wood of Birmingham Cotton of Tamworth
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Sharp visited Mr. Thomas on 3 April 1907. He was born ca. 1831 and died in 1915 at age 93; a note about him, and a photograph of him taken by Cecil Sharp, are here: Henry Thomas. Also see Gloucestershire Christmas Carols and Songs.

Sharp also printed the Shropshire lyrics and tune in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, vol. v, p. 24.

Collected from Mr. Henry Thomas at Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire
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Sheet Music From Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 36-37.

Cecil Sharp would provide us with additional tunes that he had noted from several locations in an article titled "Carols" that appeared in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, Vol. 5. His contribution was Carol #9, "A Virgin Unspotted," and he provided four different tunes, at least two of which have been noted above.

 

Tunes in the New World

This carol came to the New World early, and with some of the traditional tunes, including "Christmas Hymn" by William Knapp, 1743 (see above). A version was published in Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (1820), #79, and later republished in The Hesperian Harp. The tune and lyrics were also printed Catherine Alderice's four-shape-note song book, made in or near Emmittsburg, Maryland, between 1800-1830, which was the source used by George Pullen Jackson, Down-East Spirituals and Others (J. J. Augustin, New York, ca. 1941).

Sheet Music "Christmas Hymn" by William Knapp, 1743, from John Wyeth, Wyeth's Repository of Sacred  Music, Part Second (New York, 1820), p. 79.

Note that this is three-part harmony; some derivative works are in four parts.

Sheet music from George Pullen Jackson, Down-East Spirituals (J. J. Augustin, New York, ca. 1939), No. 10, p. 25, from Catherine Alderice's four-shape-note song book, made in or near Emmittsburg, Maryland, between 1800-1830.

 

It was also published in Kentucky Harmonist by Samuel Metcalf (1818), cited as the source for an arrangement by of Knapp's "Christmas Hymn," (renamed as "Redeemer") by Glenn Wilcox in his Early American Christmas Music (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1995), pp. 154-155

For another contemporary arrangement, see Elizabeth Poston, The Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1970, 1973, 1977), Carol #1, "A Virgin Most Pure," pp. 34-36; the notes to the carol are on p. 21.

A third contemporary arrangement of the version from The Hesperian Harp can be found at John Speller's Web Pages, A Virgin Unspotted (Dorset). A PDF of the score can be downloaded: VirginUnspotted2.pdf.

Sheet Music "Christmas Hymn" by William Knapp, 1743, from Dr. William Hauser, The Hesperian Harp (Philadelphia, 1848), #275.

The four-part version from The Hesperian Harp is based on a three-part version published in Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (1820), #79.

 

"Judea" by William Billings.

A purely American composition, "Judea," was written by William Billings in 1778 and published in The Singing Master's Assistant. Glenn Wilcox also used that tune in his Early American Christmas Music, pp. 112-113. It was later used in a number of the shape-note song books published in the 1800s and 1900s in the United States, and later in other collections of Christmas carols.

Sheet Music "Judea" by William Billings, The Singing Master's Assistant (1778)

Free scores by William Billings at the International Music Score Library Project
 Scans of The Singing Master's Assistant are available at the IMSLP.

Free scores by William Billings in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
There are two renditions of Billings' Judea at CPDL.

 

Conclusion

This remarkable family of carols is not as frequently heard as in the past - I've got less than a dozen copies in my collection of over 21,000 Christmas MP3 songs. It is in very few modern collections of Christmas carols, although directors can find an arrangement in the well-known Carols for Choirs series. However, considering the flexibility of lyrics, and the variety of tunes, some quite good, there is no reason why it shouldn't be more frequently performed, since, after all, we can celebrate with centuries of the faithful with these words:

Then let us be Merry, cast Sorrow away,
Our Saviour, Christ Jesus was born on this Day.

I would recommend the historical backgrounds contained in both The Penguin Book of Carols and The New Oxford Book of Carols.

Below, you will find a number of additional resources, including (1) numerous examples of sheet music, (2) links to the versions on this web site, and (3) links to Broadsides published in the 1800s. Enjoy!

 

 ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Sheet Music "Christmas Hymn" by William Knapp, Anthems for Christmas-Day (London: Robert Brown, 1743), pp. 20-21.

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Sheet Music from Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols (London: John Nichols And Son, First Edition, 1822)

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Sheet Music from Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, Carol #3.

Sheet Music from William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), p. 61.

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Sheet Music from William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 254-5.

Sheet Music from Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931)

"Traditional words and melody (in the Seventh Mode) from 'Some Ancient Christmas Carols,' by Davies Gilbert, 1822."
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Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), pp. 12-13.

Gilbert

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Sandys

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"Words and Melody from Sandys, 'Christmas Carols,' 1833"

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Old Christmas Carols. Part One. (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, n.d., ca. 1923), #10, p. 14.

Rev. Terry notes: "Words by the Rev. G. R. Woodward.
Tune, Old Worcestershire melody, in the Seventh Mode."

Sheet Music From Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #517.

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Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #603
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Sheet Music from "The West of England' from Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), Carol #21
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Sheet Music from Rev. George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., ca. 1919), Carol #66
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Sheet Music from William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868); text at pp. 30-32 (eight verses), music at p. 192.
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Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #2

Tune 1 is the same as Hutchins, above
Tune 2: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
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Alternate Chorus:

Aye and therefore be merry, set sorrows aside;
Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide.

Sheet Music "Carol," An Old Christmas Carol, from O. Hardwig, ed., The Wartburg Hymnal (Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House, 1918), #127

Sheet music from W. A. Pickard-Cambridge, A Collection of Dorset Carols (London: A. W. Ridley & Co., 1926), giving his source as "West of England Generally." He omits the eighth verse, above.
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Sheet Music from Ralph Dunstan, The Cornish Song Book (London: Reid Bros., Ltd., 1929), p. 88.
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Sheet Music from Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols. )London: Cramer, Beale & Co., 201, Regent Street, No Date, circa 1847).
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Source: Nicola A. Montani, ed., The St. Gregory Hymnal And Catholic Choir Book. (Philadelphia: St. Gregory Guild, 1940), #12, pp. 16-17.

Sheet Music from Bramley & Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London, ca. mid-1860s)
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Sheet Music from Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Country Songs. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1893)
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Sheet Music From Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 36-7
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Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #35:

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Note from Pettman: No. XXXV.—A more simple version of this old carol, which is an excellent specimen of carol music, may be found in Carols New and Old referred to above.

Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 20, pp. 26-27. The title and first line is "A Virgin Most Holy," but the hymn is otherwise the same as "A Virgin Most Pure."

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This carol also occurs in Elizabeth Poston, The Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1970), Carol 1, "A Virgin Most Pure." The setting was arranged by Dr. Poston, based on Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second.  Dr. Poston's setting is not reproduced here as it is under copyright.

 

Versions on this web site:

 

 

 

These broadside versions are at Bodleian Library, "Broadside Ballads Online" (links are to the Bodleian). Multiple copies of each version are available.

A Virgin Most Pure (or "Carol").

The Virgin Unspotted

Sinners' Redemption

 

These twelve new texts were collected from the Bodleian Library, Roud Number 1378, plus searches for broadsides with the phrase “A Virgin Most Pure,” “A Virgin Unspotted,” "Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside," or “In Bethlehem City.”

These links are to the images at the Bodleian Library.

Douce adds. 137(21) - The Virgin Unspotted, T. Bloomer: 1 carol
Carol I. A Virgin unspotted the prophets foretold

Douce adds. 137(21)-14949.jpg (362874 bytes)

Douce adds. 137(45) - Christmas Carols, Watson, Printer: 5 carols
Carol I. A Virgin most purely, as Prophets to befel
Carol II. Christmas now is drawing near at hand
Carol III. While Shepherds watch their Flocks by night
Carol IV. To Adam thus Jehovah spake —
Carol V. Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside

Douce adds. 137(45)-14973.jpg (980182 bytes)

Douce adds. 137(49) - C. Creshaw, Printer: 2 carols
Carol I. Christmas Hymn (The first good joy our Mary had)
Carol II. Christmas Hymn (Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside)

Douce adds. 137(49)-14977.jpg (396365 bytes)

Douce adds. 137(67) - D. Wrighton, Printer: 2 Carols
Carol I. The Virgin Unspotted (A Virgin unspotted as the Prophets foretold)
Carol II. O Fair Jerusalem, A Carol [Not Christmas]

Douce adds. 137(67)-14995.jpg (451384 bytes)

Douce adds. 137(71) - Christmas Carols, M. W. Carrall, Printer: 4 Carols
Carol I. God rest you merry gentlemen
Carol II. Christians awake salute the happy morn
Carol III. A Virgin unspotted the prophets foretold
Carol IV. Hark the herald Angels sing

Douce adds. 137(71) -14999.jpg (851217 bytes)

Harding B 7(4) - Christmas Drawing Near At Hand, J. Catnach, printer: 4 Carols
Carol I. A Virgin most pure as the prophets did tell
Carol II. Christmas now is drawing near at hand
Carol III. Dives and Lazarus (As it fell out upon a day)
Carol IV. While Shepherds watch'd their flocks by night.

Harding B 7(4)-00724.jpg (493536 bytes)

Harding B 11(3920) - Two New Christmas Carols, Wilkins, Printer: 2 Carols.
Carol I. Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside
Carol II. A Virgin most pure, as the Prophets did tell

Harding_B_11_3920-04848.jpg (251952 bytes)

Harding B 25(381) - J. Kendrow, Printer: 2 carols [check Bodleian for printer name]
Carol I. A Virgin unspotted, the prophets foretold
Carol II. Christians awake, salute the happy morn

Harding B 25(381)-09438.jpg (555958 bytes)

Harding B 25(382) - Swindells, Printer, between 1796 and 1853: 2 carols
Carol I. Sinners' Redemption (In Bethlehem city, in Jewry it was)
Carol II. Christmas Hymn (Christmas now is drawing near at hand)
     Note: [This was the only result returned at BBO for the search of "In Bethlehem City"]

Harding B 25(382)-09439.jpg (587464 bytes)

Harding B 25(1984) - W. Armstrong: 2 carols
Carol I. The Virgin Unspotted (A Virgin unspotted the Prophets foretold)
Carol II. The Vision (When the midnight hour approaching) [Not Christmas]

Harding B 25(1984)-10309.jpg (498473 bytes)
Harding B 45(3) - Divine Mirth, J. Catnach: 6 carols
Carol I. A Carol (Hosanna! to the royal son) ?
Carol II. God rest you merry Gentlemen
Carol III. While Shepherds watch'd their Flocks by Night
Carol IV. Shepherds rejoice, lift up your eyes
Carol V. A Virgin most pure as the prophets did tell
Carol VI. The Nativity (Hail, hail, the blest ecstatic morn) ?
Harding B 45(3)-11625.jpg (1923691 bytes)
Johnson Ballads 1365 - Three New Christmas Carols
[No Printer Name, Aldermary Church Yard]: 3 carols
Carol I. Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside
Carol II. A Virgin most pure, as the Prophets did tell
Carol III. Christmas now is drawing near at Hand
Johnson Ballads 1365-21096.jpg (1226210 bytes)

 

Sources:

Rev. Ian Bradley, The Penguin Book of Carols. (London: Penguin, 1999).

W. J. Birkbeck, R. V. Williams, et al., eds., The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906).

Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old. First Series. (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1867).

Note: The date of 1871 for publication of the First Series was a misreading. Percy Dearmer mentioned that a publication occurred in 1871. However, he was describing a combined publication of the First and Second Series. People have assumed that this represented the date of publication of both Series. However, it is clear from the Prefaces to the two Series that the First Series was published some time prior to the Second Series. It has been determined from other sources that the First Series was published in 1867, the Second Series in 1871, and the Third Series in 1878.

Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. (John Alexander) Fuller-Maitland, English Country Songs. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1893).

William Chappell, ed., Collection of National English Airs. 2 Volumes. (London: Chappell, and Simpkin, Marshall, & Company, 1840)

William Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time. 2 Volumes. (London: Cramer, Beale & Chappell, 1859)

William Chappell, The Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time. 2 Volumes. (London: Chappell & Co., 18??.)

Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894).

Percy Dearmer, R. Vaughan Williams, Martin Shaw, eds., The Oxford Book of Carols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1928).

Ralph Dunstan, The Cornish Song Book (London: Reid Bros., Ltd., 1929).

Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols (London: John Nichols And Son, First Edition, 1822)

Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. (London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823).

O. Hardwig, ed., The Wartburg Hymnal (Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House, 1918).

William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868).

Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916).

George Pullen Jackson, Down-East Spirituals (New York: J. J. Augustin, 1941)

Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott, The New Oxford Book of Carols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Nicola A. Montani, ed., The St. Gregory Hymnal And Catholic Choir Book. (Philadelphia: St. Gregory Guild, 1940).

Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892).

Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899).

W. A. Pickard-Cambridge, A Collection of Dorset Carols (London: A. W. Ridley & Co., 1926).

Elizabeth Poston, The Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1970)

Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols. (London: Cramer, Beale & Co., 201, Regent Street, No Date) (circa 1847).

Erik Routley, The English Carol (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959), pp. 92-94.

Erik Routley, University Carol Book (Brighton: H. Freeman & Co., 1961), pp. pp. 24-25.

William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833).

William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852).

Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, First Series. (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913).

Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911).

William E. Studwell, Christmas Carols: A Reference Guide. (New York: Garland Publishing Co., 1985)

Joshua Sylvester, Christmas Carols - Ancient and Modern (circa 1861, reprinted A. Wessels Company, New York, 1901).

Richard Runciman Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931)

Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933).

Rev. George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book, Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., ca. 1919).

John Wyeth, Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (Da Capo Press, 1820)

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