The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Immortal Babe, Who On This Day

A Hymn for Christmas Day

Words: Verse 1, Altered from Bishop Joseph Hall; Verses 2-6, Anonymous
Compare: Immortal Babe, Who This Dear Day (Sandys)

Music: William Knapp.

Source: William Knapp, ed., Anthems for Christmas Day (London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744), pp. x-y.

Immortal Babe, who on this day
Didst change thy Heav'ns for our vile clay
And didst with flesh thy godhead veil:
    Eternal son of God all hail!
    Eternal son of God all hail!

2. Bright Angels usher'd in thy Birth,
With Acclamations and with Mirth;
And sung aloud, that for our Sake,
    Thou didst our human nature take,
    Thou didst our human nature take,

3. And shall not we, poor Creatures, whom
Thou didst from Heav'n on Purpose come,
To save, when Slaves to Satan, we
    Knew Nought but Sin and Misery,
    Knew Nought but Sin and Misery.

4. We all thro' Ignorance and Vice,
Had lost our Way to Paradise;
And had without God in the World
    Been into outer Darkness hurl'd,
    Been into outer Darkness hurl'd.

5. Had not that Day-Spring from on high,
Visited Mortals far and nigh;
And Christ, our true Emmanuel,
    Stopp'd us in our Career to Hell,
    Stopp'd us in our Career to Hell.

6. Ravish'd, Lord, with this Love of thine,
To sing thy Praise our Souls incline;
And that we may perform our Parts,
    We'll to our Voices tune our Hearts,
           We'll to our Voices tune our Hearts.

Sheet Music: William Knapp, ed., Anthems for Christmas Day (London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744), pp. x-y.

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Note:

A very similar set of lyrics is from Bishop Joseph Hall (1574-1656), Miscellaneous Poems: Immortal Babe, Who This Dear Day, but only the first verse bears any similarity at all:

Immortal Babe, who this dear day
Didst change Thine Heaven for our clay,
And didst with flesh thy godhead veil,
Eternal Son of God, all hail!

Free sheet music is available for this piece for non-commercial use from Roding Music, both vocals and vocals with keyboard. The Christmas Carols page has links to this and other carols sung in the West Galley tradition.

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