The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

If thou be Johan, I tell it the

For the Feast of St. John the Apostle, Evangelist and Author of Letters
See: Hymns To St. John The Evangelist

Source: Edward Bliss Reed, ed., Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

Also available in Middle English: If thou be Johan

This carol requires the installation of the "Old Blackletter" font for best display.
See notes in F A Q

If thou be Johan, I tell it the

Ryght with a good aduyce

Thou may be glad Johan to be

It is a name of pryce

To nawe of Io. Wel prays I may

Is is full good y wys

The grace of god, it is to ~ay

It ~oundes nothyng amys

If thou be kyng in ryalte

And of wyt full wy~e

Thou may~t be glad Johan to be

It is the name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c

 

He is not worthy to hyght Johan

The oxe that is not whyght

And thou art not worthy to hight iohan

But grace be in the pyght

If thou haue loue and charyte

And voyde~t away all vyce

Than art then worthy Johan to be

It is a name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c

 

Johan gaue bapty~t vnto Chry~t

Of grace was his prechyng

And ~aynt Johan euangely~t

Was Chry~tes owne derlyng

In penaunce and vyrgynyte

He had full great delyce

God graunt vs grace this Johan to be

It a name of pryce

    If thou be Johan, &c

 

If thou be cleped Nycolas,

Bothe in dede and fame

Yet art thou Johan yf thou haue grace

It may well be thy name

I tell the true the veryte

And ~o I haue done it y wys

Thou may~t be glad Johan to be

It is a name of pryce.

    If thou be Johan, &c

 

Acomly yght is now pre~ent

His name y wys is Johan

Of his gret grace god hath ~ent

To make vs merye euery chone

Be glad and mery in charyte

I pray you all lyke wy~e

He is well worthy Johan to be

It is a name of price

    If thou be Johan, &c

                    Finis.

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