The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Good Christian Men, Rejoice

Words: Attributed to Heinrich Suso (ca. 1295-1366), Nun singet und seid froh; found in Piae Cantiones and freely translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale in Carols for Christmastide (London, 1853). Rev. Neale noted "A Patois-Carol, perhaps 14th century."
Folklore has it that Suso, hearing angels sing these words, joined them in a dance of worship.
See: In Dulci Jubilo and these notes.

Music: "In Dulci Jubilo," 14th Century German melody, adapted by Rev. Thomas Helmore from Piae Cantiones, 1582.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Meter: 66 77 58 75

Harmony From Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #8

Source: Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide (London: Novello, 1853).

1.     Good Christian men, rejoice
        With heart, and soul, and voice;
    Give ye heed to what we say:
                News! News!1
    Jesus Christ was born to-day:
    Ox and ass before Him bow,
    And He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today.

2.     Good Christian men, rejoice,
        With heart, and soul, and voice;
    Now ye hear of endless bliss:
                Joy! Joy!
    Jesus Christ was born for this!
    He hath ope'd2 the heav'nly door,
    And man is blessed evermore.3
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

3.     Good Christian men, rejoice
        With heart, and soul, and voice;
    Now ye need not fear the grave:
                Peace! Peace!
    Jesus Christ was born to save!
    Calls you one, and calls you all,
    To gain His everlasting hall:
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

Notes

1. This line, and similar lines in verses 2 and 3, is omitted in most modern versions. The original inclusion by Helmore was probably an error in reading an earlier manuscript. Return

2. Others: 'has opened' Return

3. Others: … and man is blessed forevermore. Return

Note From Rev. Neale.

In the notes to the first carol, "Here Is Joy For Every Age," Rev. Neale noted: "A translation, or free imitation, as are most (in this collection.)" In the Preface to the First Edition, Rev. Neale wrote that only Good King Wenceslas and Toll! Toll! are original.

Sheet Music from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide: The Condensed Vocal Parts (London: Novello, 1854), pp. 20-21.

Good_Christian-Cond_Vocals-01.jpg (94597 bytes) Good_Christian-Cond_Vocals-02.jpg (98951 bytes)

Sheet Music from Bramley & Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #8

Good_Christian_Men_8a.gif (431673 bytes) Good_Christian_Men_8b.gif (326539 bytes)

Sheet Music from Rev. J. Freeman Young, ed., Carols for Christmas Tide (New York: Daniel Dana, Jr., 1859), #3

Sheet music from A. B. Goodrich, ed., A New Service And Tune Book For Sunday Schools (New York: Gen. Prot. Episc. S. S. Union and Church Book Society, 1863, New Edition, Enlarged, 1866), #146, pp. 132-3.

Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #19

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol #342

Good_Christian_Men_Rejoice_342.gif (185990 bytes)

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #161, pp. 4-5.

161a-Good_Christian.jpg (83383 bytes) 161b-Good_Christian.jpg (59579 bytes)

Rev. Terry Notes:

Words: English Version by Dr. J. M. Neale of In dulci jubilo. No. VI of Pić Cantiones, 1582.

Music: In dulci jubilo from Pić Cantiones, 1582.

Note:

A single copy of Pić Cantiones found its way into the hands of Rev. John Mason Neale and Rev. Thomas Helmore in 1853, and from this exceptionally rare volume an immense amount of music was saved from oblivion. For more information, see Pić Cantiones.

See A Garritan Community Christmas for an MP3:
In Dulci Jubilo, Dan Powers

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window