The Babe of Bethlehem
Version 2 - "Ye Nations All"
Words & Music: Southern United States
Date: 18th or early 19th Century
See the arrangement by Roy Ringwald in Book Of American Carols (2004)
1. Ye nations all, on you I call, come hear this declaration,
And don't refuse this glorious news of Jesus and salvation.
To royal Jews came first the news of Christ the great Messiah,
As was foretold by prophets old, Isaiah, Jeremiah.
2. To Abraham the promise came, and to his seed for ever,
A light to shine in Isaac's line, by Scripture we discover;
Hail, promised morn! the Saviour's born, the glorious Mediator.
God's blessed word made flesh and blood, assumed the human nature.
3. His parents poor in earthly store, to entertain the stranger
They found no bed to lay his head, but in the ox's manger:
No royal things, as used by kings, were seen by those that found him
But in the hay the stranger lay, with swaddling bands around him
4. On the same night a glorious light to shepherds there appeared,
Bright angels came in shining flame, they saw and greatly feared
The angels said: Be not afraid, although we much alarm you,
We do appear good news to bear, as now we will inform you.
5. The city's name is Bethlehem, in which God has appointed,
This glorious morn a Saviour's born, for him God has anointed;
By this you'll know, if you will go, to see this little stranger,
His lovely charms in Mary's arms, both lying in a manger.
6. When this was said, straightway was made a glorious sound from heaven
Each flaming tongue an anthem sung: To men a Saviour's given,
In Jesus' name, the glorious theme, we elevate our voices,
At Jesus' birth be peace on earth, meanwhile all heaven rejoices.
7. Then with delight they took their flight, and wing'd their way to glory,
The shepherds gazed and were amazed, to hear the pleasing story;
To Bethlehem they quickly came, the glorious news to carry,
And in the stall they found them all, Joseph, the Babe, and Mary.
8. The shepherds then return'd again to their own habitation,
With joy of heart they did depart, now they have found salvation.
Glory they cry, to God on high, who sent his Son to save us.
This glorious morn the Saviour's born, his name is Christ Jesus.