The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Cheer Up Old Woman

For Christmas

Words: Fanne, coraige; le Diale ŗ mort, Traditional Burgundian NoŽl
Translation from La Monnoye by the Rev. J. O'Connor

Music: Traditional Burgundian NoŽl

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #70, pp. 6-7.

Shepherd:

1. Cheer up old woman,
Satan is dead;
Bright is the morning
Tempest is fled.
God is quite near us, reposing on straw,
Swaddled in manger,
Loudly the angels shot for joy,
Stretching their voices,
Who but rejoices.

Wife:

2. There then, my necklet,
My comforter,
My jingling girdle,
My stomacher.
Now step it out, I be going to faint
No I won't slacken.
Longing am I to see this Babe,
What all the prophets
Make such a fuss of.

Shepherd:

3. Yon is the stable
Step it my dear.
Hee Haw! Ass Neddy
What do ee here?
Come on in. God save 'ee. Man Joseph, good day,
And Madam Mary.
We be come now an it please 'ee to see
Fruit of the ages,
Christ the Messiah.

Wife:

4. Easy 'tis, reading
That bonny face
How 'tis the Spirit
Gives Him His grace.
Heaven's own sake!
Is it really God born?
Be you His fosters?
And we can come and get no scorn?
No 'by-your-leav'-ing
No knocking even?

Shepherd:

5. Like open heaven
Should He but smile!
No bolted gateway,
No five-bar stile.
No need to ring nr to rattle, we find
Hinges full willing
On those tremendous folding-doors,
That for so many
Years refused any.

Both:

6. O blessed Virgin
We offer these:
Four little biblets
Two creamy cheese.
Nothing to boot but these brass pennies three.
That's all at present;
Money grubs crawl on all the rest
Silvery florins,
Glist'ning crown-pieces.

The Virgin Mother:

7. Dear worthy couple
His thanks be yours,
Almighty, holy,
Who keeps the purse.
Not gold or silver coins buy His good will.
No, I assure you.
One little mustard-seed of faith
His Highness prizes
Past your surmises.

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #70, pp. 6-7.

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