Words & Music: English Traditional
Source: Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, Carol #3, pp. 10-12.
Also compared to Davies Gilbert, "Some Ancient Christmas Carols."
London: Nichols and Sons, 1822, reprinted Boston: Elibron Classics, 2007.
The 1822 edition has been scanned and posted on Google Books.
Aye, and therefore be you merry,
Rejoice and be merry,
Set sorrow aside;
Christ Jesus our Savior was born on this tide.3
4. Then were they constrained in a stable to lye,
Where horses and asses6a they us'd for to tie;
Their lodging so simple they held it no scorn,
But against the next morning our Saviour was born. Refrain
5. The King of all kings7 to this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen to wrap him was sought,
And when she8 had swaddled her young son so sweet,
Within an ox manger she laid him to sleep. Refrain
6. Then God sent an Angel from Heaven so high,
To certain poor Shepherds in fields where they lye,
And bade9 them no longer in sorrow to stay,
Because that our Saviour was born on this day. Refrain
7. Then presently after the Shepherds did spy
A number of Angels that stood10 in the sky;
Who joyfully talked and sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory our Heavenly King. Refrain
Sandys added this verse, which was not found in Gilbert, 1822 or 1823.
8. Three certain Wise Princes, they thought it most meet
To lay their rich offerings at our Saviourís feet;
Then the Shepherds consented, and to Bethlehem did go,
And when they came thither, they found it was so. Refrain
1. Or: Savior or Babe Return
2. Or: has brought forth a baby, or had wrapt us all in. Return
Rejoice and be merry, set sorrow aside;
Christ Jesus our Savior was born on this tide. Return
4. Or: Judah OR Jury Return
5. Or: In Bethlehem in Jewry, it was Return
5a. Or: far Return
6. Or: Could get in the City there OR Could procure in the inn Return
6a. Or: Where oxen and asses ... Return
7. Or: Kings, or The King of all glory. Return
8. Or But when Mary Ö Return
9. Or: charged OR bid Return
10. Or. appear Return
Sheet Music from Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols (London: John Nichols And Son, First Edition, 1822)
Sheet Music from Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, Carol #3.
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."
Also found in 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)
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), pp. 12-13.
"Words and Melody from Sandys, 'Christmas Carols,' 1833"
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Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols
Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New
Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church
George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book
William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity
Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book
W. A. Pickard-Cambridge, A Collection of Dorset Carols
Ralph Dunstan, The Cornish Song Book
Edward F. Rimbault, A Little Book of Christmas Carols
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