The Black Decree
Alternate Title: Let Christians All With One Accord Rejoice
#45 on Hone's List of 89 Carols Printed
Source: Broadside Harding B 7(58), Printed and Sold by J. Catnach, 2, Monmouth-Court, 7 Dials, London, between 1813 and 1838, in “Broadside Ballads Online,” Edition Bod19103, in Bodleian Library, Oxford; Roud Number: 2429. Note: Sheet contains a Bible quotation.
Christians all with one accord
Sing praise to God on high,
In sending his beloved Son
For sinful men to die.
Rejoice upon this holy day,
And hail the happy morn,
When of a Virgin pure and bright,
The King of kings was born.
Angels from heaven announc'd his birth
To shepherds on the plain;
He came to die that all the earth
Salvation might attain.
costly robes of rich attire,
No gaudy show he made;
But in a manger low and poor
The Lord of Life was laid.
bitter agony and pain
He for our sins did bleed;
And now at God's right hand he reign
And for us intercedes.
The title of this broadside was:
Plants of Paradise
For Christmas Holidays.
This centered headline had immediately before it, “The Angelic Salutation:”
And the angel, Gabriel, came in unto Mary, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shall conceive and bring for a Son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall [be] great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the [thr]one of his father David; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. [A paraphrase of Luke 1:26-33, KJV.]
This broadside contains several carols, plus the “Gloria Patri” (actually, the doxology that begins “Praise God from whom all blessings flow....”), a Prayer for Christmas Day; two Anthems, and three woodcuts. The carols included:
On Christmas Night All Christians Sing.
Hark! What News the Angels Bring.
The Portuguese hymn On The Nativity (“Ye faithful triumphant”)
A Hymn for the Sacrament (“All ye who faithful servants are”)
Christ's Sufferings and Exaltation (“Now let our mournful songs record”)
A Carol (“Let Christians all with one accord.”)
Thumbnail of the Broadside Harding B 7(58), J. Catnach, London
This text was also found on another broadside at the Bodleian Library's "Broadside Ballads Online," Harding B 7(78), T. Taylor, 93, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London, between 1859 and 1899 (Edition Bod4241). There were only two differences:
Verse 3, Line 1: "Angels from heaven announc'd a birth"
Line 3: "And now at God's right
"Spitalfields" was a former parish in the borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London, near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane.
Harding B 7(78), T. Taylor, London.
The other carol on the broadside was titled “Portuguese Hymn,” with a first line of “Ye Faithful, Triumphant Enter Into Bethlehem.
Also found in A Selection of Carols, Pieces, and Anthems, Suitable for Christmas. (London: W. Kent and Co.; Penzance: F. Rodda, ca. 1872) with the first three verses.
Versions on this web site:
The Black Decree - Version 1 - Bramley and Stainer, ca. 1878, with Notes. For the Feast of the Holy Infants.
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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