In Bedlem, That Fayer Cyte
Words and Music: Traditional English from MS Eng. Poet. e. 1, Bodleian Library, Oxford
Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #49, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.
To blys God bryng us al and sum,
Christe, redemptor omnium.
In Bedlem, that fayer cyte
Was born a chyld that was so fre,
Lord and prince of hey degre,
Jam lucis orto sidere.
Jhesu, for the lowe of the,
Chylder were slayn grett plentee
In Bedlem that fayer cyte,
A solis ortus cardine.
As the sune schynyth in the glas,
So Jhesu of hys moder borne was;
Hym to serve God gyffe us grace,
O lux beata Trinitas.
Now is he oure Lord Jhesus:
Thus hath he veryly vysyt us;
Now to mak mery among us,
Exultet celum laudibus.
Translations from Edith Rickert, In Bethlehem, That Fair City:
Christe, Redemptor omnium is translated as "Christ, the Redeemer of all."
Iam lucis orto sidere is translated as "Now the star of light having risen."
A solis ortus cardine is translated as "Arisen from the quarter of the sun.
O lux beata Trinitas is translated as "O blessed light of the Trinity."
Exultet celem laudibus is translated as "Let heaven rejoice with praises."
The popularity of this carol can be seen by its appearance in an unusually large number of 15th century manuscripts including
Trinity College Library, O. 3. 58. (James, No. 1230)
Nowel Sing We Now All And Sum (Chambers & Sidgwick)
In Bethl'em In That Fair City (Fuller Maitland, pp. 12-13 and 40-41)
Balliol 354, Richard Hill's Common-place Book, Balliol College, Oxford
In Bethlehem, In That Fair City (Rickert, pp. 183-4)
To blis God bryng us all and sum (Flugel in Anglia XXVI)
Eng. Poet. e. 1., Bodleian Library, Oxford
MS. Ee. 1. 12., f. 1.r., Cambridge University Library
In Bethlehem, That Fayre Cite-ee.1.12 (Greene, The Early English Carols, #21D)
Selden B. 26, Bodleian Library, Oxford
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