Compare: A Babe Is Born
A babe is born al of a may - Thomas Wright
Words: 15th Century
Music: Ancient Melody
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins,
Carols Old and Carols
(Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)
1. A Babe is born, all of a Maid
To bring salvation unto us:
No more are we to sing afraid,
Veni, Creator Spiritus
2. Bethlehem, That blessed place,
The Child of bliss then born He was;
He aye to serve God give us grace,
O Lux beata Trinitas.
3. There came three kings out of the East,
To worship there that King so free
With gold and myrrh and frankincense,
A solis ortus cardine.
4. The shepherds heard an Angel cry,
O merry song that night sang he,
Why are ye all so sore aghast,
Jam lucis orto sidere?
5. The Angel came down with a cry,
A fair and joyful song sang he,
And in the worship of that Child,
Gloria Tibi Domine.
Veni, Creator Spiritus - Come, Creative Spirit
O Lux beata Trinitas. - O blessed light of the Trinity
A solis ortus cardine. - Arisen from the quarter of the sun
Jam lucis orto sidere? - Now the star of light having risen
Gloria Tibi Domine. - Glory to Thee, O Lord
Source of Latin translations is Martha Edith Rickert, ed., "Glossary," Ancient English Christmas Carols - 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), Pages 303 - 310.
Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)
Sheet Music from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Third Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1878), Carol #48.
Sheet Music from Richard R. Terry, Old Christmas Carols. Part One. (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., n.d., ca. 1923), Carol #26, p. 33.
Rev Terry noted that this tune is a later form of "Herr Jesu Christ, mein Leben's Licht," Nuremburg, 1676. Words 15th Century.
Verse 2, Line 1: At Bethlehem, that noble place,
Verse 2, Line 3: Him aye to serve ...
Verse 4, Line 2: A merry song ...
This carol is also found in Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #156, p. 35. He noted that the words were: English, 15th Century, and that the music was a later form of Herr Jesu Christ, mein Leben's Licht, Nuremberg, 1676.
The following differences were noted:
1.3. to be afraid.
2.1. that noble place
2.3. Him aye
4.2. A merry song
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #156, p. 35.
William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868):
This Carol is of the time of Henry VI [1421-1471]. The Latin words with which each verse is terminated are the first lines of hymns used in the church service. This mode of writing was very prevalent amongst the mediŠval carolists.
Note that Husk precedes his version with this burden:
Noel el el el, now is well
That ever was woe.