Alternate Title: Make we myrth For Crystes byrth
Anonymous English, 15th Century
Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet. e. I, f. 22 r, XV Century
Source: William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 227-8.
Make we myrth
For Crystes byrth,
And sing we yole tyl Candelmes.
1. The fyrst day of yole have we in mynd,
How God was man born of owre kynd;
For he the bondes wold onbynd
Of all owre synnes and wykednes.
2. The secund day we syng of Stevene,
That stoned [was] and steyyd up even
To God that he saw stond in hevyn,
And cronned was for hys prouesse.
3. The iij day longest to sent Johan,
That was Cristys darlyng, derer non,
Whom he betok, whan he shuld gone,
Hys moder der for hyr clennesse.
4. The iiij day of the chyldren зong,
That Herowd to deth had do with wrong,
And Crist thei coud non tell with tong,
But with ther blod bar hym wytnesse.
5. The v day longeth to sent Thomas,
That, as a strong pyllar of bras,
Held up the chyrch, and sclayn he was,
For he sted with ryytwesnesse.
6. The viij Day tok Jhesu hys name,
That saved mankynd fro syn and shame,
And circumsaysed was for no blame,
But for ensample of meknesse.
7. The xij day offered to hym kinges iij.
Gold, myr, and cense, these gyftes free,
For God, and man, and kyng was he,
Thus worschyppyd thei his worthynes.
8. On the xl Day cam Mary myld,
Unto the temple with hyr chyld,
To shew hyr clen that never was fylyd,
And therwith endyth Crystmes.
Substantially similar is Richard Greene, ed., A Selection of Carols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), Carol #3, pp. 56-57.
There are four versions of this carol on this website, including this page:
The First Day Of Yule – Husk, with note
The ferste day of yol we han in mynde - Thomas Wright, Specimens of old Christmas Carols (1841)
The fyrst day of yole have we in mynd - Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (1847)
Feast day of St. Stephan the First Martyr is December 26; See: Hymns to St Stephen
Feast day of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist is December 27; See: Hymns To St. John The Evangelist
Feast day of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs, is December 28; See: The Hymns Of The Holy Innocents
Feast day of St. Thomas, Bishop and Martyr is December 28;
January 1 is the Octave of Christmas, and the start of the New Year;
Twelfth Day is Epiphany, January 6;
Candlemas (the blessing of the candles) is February 2;
The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is February 2. See: Candlemas
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