The Black Decree
Alternate Title: Let Christians All With One Accord Rejoice
#45 on Hone's List of 89 Carols Printed
Source: Broadside Douce adds. 137(31), T. Bloomer, Printer 53, Edgbaston-street, Birmingham, between 1821 and 1827, in “Broadside Ballads Online,” Edition Bod5578, Bodleian Library, Oxford; Roud Number: 2429.
Note: In this version, Bloomer prints 20 verses, omitting 15, 16, 17, and with numerous word changes, as you can see.
1. Let Christians all with one accord rejoice,
And praises sing, with heart as well as voice,
To God on high, for glorious things he has done,
In sending of his well beloved Son.
blessed babe and holy child of love
Came down from heaven that we may reign above:
The happy news was brought on angels' wings,
Of our redemption by the King of kings.
earthly wonder not to be denied
Born of a Virgin mother, and a bride;
Not like a prince, in worldly pomp and state,
But poor and low, to make us heavenly great.
night before that happy day of grace
The Virgin mother had not a resting place:
She and her pious Joseph were so low
They scarcely knew what or which way to go.
5. For they were
forc'd to wander up and down,
And could not get a lodging in the town;
But in an Ox's stall where beasts were fed
The mother of our Lord was brought to bed.
costly silks, nor robes of rich attire,
Nor gaudy show, which rich ones do admire;
But in a manger, the great Lord of Life
Was nourish'd by a Mother, Maid, and Wife.
Three Wise Men by a star were thither brought,
And found the blessed babe they long had sought
Where best of spices and rich costly things
They humbly offer'd to the King of Kings.
rather than the Lord of life betray
They worshipp'd Him and went another way:
Which so enrag'd the wicked HEROD then,
(A Jewish king, but very worst of men).
caus'd young harmless infants to be kill'd;
All under two years old, their blood was spill'd;
Sad cries and groans were heard in every street,
With mangled bodies, bleeding hands and feet.
Young tender babes with limbs in pieces torn,
On soldiers' spears with spite and horror borne:
Dear parents tears could not their rage prevent,
Nor pity move the TYRANT to repent.
Black Decree went all the country round,
To kill and murder children, sick and sound:
They tore young children from the mothers' breast,
Thinking to murder CHRIST among the rest.
GOD above who knew what would be done,
Had sent to Egypt his beloved son;
Where with His earthly parents he was fed,
Until the bloody tyrant he was dead.
13. What pains and labours did not
To save our souls, and happiness secure!
Was always doing good to let us see
By His example what we ought to be.
made the blind to see, the lame to go,
He rais'd the dead, which none but he could do;
He cur'd the lepers of infected evils,
And by his mighty power cast out devils.
that their wicked purpose might not miss,
Brib'd JUDAS, who betray'd him with a kiss;
Which being done, away they haul'd him then,
And us'd him as the very worse of men.
Spit in his face and with reproachful scorn,
They put upon his head a crown of thorns:
Cry'd with one voice, and would not be deny'd,
To Pilot that he should be crucify'd.
This wicked judge, with babe injustice,
To please the crowd did their request allow,
Against his conscience, he, to end the strife,
Condemned to death the blessed Lord of Life.
Then to a Cross, the Saviour of mankind
Was led, a harmless lamb, as was design'd:
To save our souls condemn'd by Adam's fall,
Without whose death we had been ruin'd all.
blessed hands and feet, with bitter pain,
Were nailed to the CROSS with sad disdain;
With hateful spears they pierc'd his tender skin,
And let out blood to wash away our sin.
Thus blessed JESUS freely did resign
His precious blood to save both thine and mine;
Then let us all his mercies highly prize,
Who for our sins was made sacrifice.
Versions on this web site:
The Black Decree - Version 1 - Bramley and Stainer, ca. 1878, with Notes. For the Feast of the Holy Infants. [This file]
The Black Decree - Version 3 - Chope, 1894. 6 verses, with chorus. For Epiphany.
The Black Decree - Version 4 - Rodda, 1870. 3 verses, with chorus. For Christmas.
The Black Decree - Version 8 - A Shropshire Version.
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