The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Five Joys of the Virgin

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

From a MS. in the Library of Trin. Coll. Camb. B. U, 39, of the first half of the thirteenth century.

Source: Thomas Wright and James Orchard Halliwell, eds., Reliquiĉ Antiquĉ. Vol. 2 of 2. (London: John Russell Smith, 1845), pp. 48-49.

V Gaudia.

Seinte Marie, levedi brist,
Moder thou art of muchel mist,
    Quene in hevene of feire ble ;
Gabriel to the he liste,
The he brouste al wid riste
    Then holi gost to listen in the.
Godes word ful wel thou cnewe;
Ful mildeliche therto thou dewe,
    Ant saidest, " So it mote be !"
Thi thonc was studevast ant trewe;
For the joye that to was newe,
    Levedi, thou have merci of me !

Seinte Marie, moder milde,
Thi fader bicome to one childe,
    Suc joye ne scal never eft be.
The stronge fend, that was so wilde,
Godes hondiwerc he spilde,
    For on appel of the tre,
Levedi, mon thou broutest bote,
The stronge fend an under fote,
    Tho thi sone was boren of the :
For the joye that tho was swote,
Levedi, yemme grace that I mote
    Wid al mine miste lovien the !

Seinte Marie, quene in londe,
Godes moder ant Godes sonde,
    That te sculde ben so wo;
Jewes heden thi sone an honde,
Judas soldin hem to honde,
    On the rode heo gonnen him slo;
The thridde dai he ros to live ;
Levedi, ofte were thou blive,
    Ac never so thou were tho.
Levedi, for then ilke sive
That tou were of thi sone blive,
    Al mi sunnes thou do me fro !

Seinte Marie, maydan ant mere,
So lengore o so betere thou were,
    Thou here hem alle that clepet the to :
In muchele blisse that tou were,
Tho thinne swete sone i-bere
    I-seie him in to hevene sten.
E sit arist as ure drist,
And weldet al, as hit is rist,
    We mowen i-heren ant i-sen.
Levedi, for thi muchele miste,
The swete blisse of hevene briste,
    Seinte Marie, herude me.

The fifte joie is feirest in wede,
Tho thou in to hevene trede,
    To him that was of the i-born.
Nou thou art in hevene quene,
Mit tine sone, brist ant scene ;
    Al folc the heret therfore.
There is joie ant eke blisse,
That ever last, wid-oute misse;
    Ant ther thou art quene i-corn.
Levedi, tuet thou me mi beue,
For the joie that ever is newe,
    Thou let me never be furlorn !


Editor's Note:

There are numerous carols enumerating the joys of Mary (including five, seven, and 12), including.

  1. Off The 5 Joyes Of Owr Lady (Wright, 1847)

  2. The Ferst Joye As I Zu Telle ("Joyes Fyve") (Sandys, 1833)

  3. The Ferste Joye, As I 3ou Telle (Wright, 1856)
  4. The First Good Joy Our Mary Had (Sandys) (a.k.a. Joyes Seven; in total, 12 Joys - 7 from Sandys, 5 from Husk) (with sheet music and notes)

  5. The Five Joys (Rickert)

  6. The Five Joys of the Virgin (Wright, 1845)

  7. The Seven Joys of Mary - Version 1 (Bramley & Stainer) (with sheet music) [this page]

  8. The Seven Joys Of Mary - Version 2 (Shaw and Dearmer) (with sheet music)

  9. The Seven Joys of Mary - RR Terry (with sheet music)

  10. The Seven Joys Of Mary (John Jacob Niles) (with note)

  11. The Seven Rejoices Of Mary (RR Terry)

  12. The Ten Joys Of Christmas (Sharp) (with sheet music and note)

This is one of many "counting" songs among the hymns and carols of Christmas. See the notes to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

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