The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Virgin Unspotted

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist. The Third Addition. (London: Robert Brown, 1753), Part IV, "A Set of Divine Hymns," pp. 5-6. For four voices.

See: In Bethlehem City - Notes

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.

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

2. Through Bethlehem city in Jury it was, [Jewry-TNOBC-503]
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 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. But Mary, blest Mary, so meek and so mild,
Soon wrapped up in Swaddling this heav'nly Child, [Swaddlings-TNOBC, 503]
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. 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 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.

Sheet Music from John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist  (1753), pp. 5-6.

Virgin_Unspotted-Arnold_Compleat_Psalmodist-1753-p5.jpg (106111 bytes) Virgin_Unspotted-Arnold_Compleat_Psalmodist-1753-p6.jpg (105485 bytes)

Judea by Billings (1778)



This version, with some changes, would be repeated in The Virgin Unspotted (Walters, A Good Christmas Box, 1846), and a number of broadsides of the era. With the two changes noted, this version would be reproduced as Setting II, "A Virgin Unspotted," p. 502-503, Keyte and Parrott, The New Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.

Related Hymns and Carols