The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

It Wern Fowre Letterys Of Purposy

For Christmas

Words and Music: English Traditional

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display.
Y
ou can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

Note: Because Middle English contains letters not found in modern English, I've used a special font, "Junicode" created by Professor Peter S. Baker, Professor of English, University of Virginia on some pages.  I will note on the individual carol's page which ones need this font. You can obtain a copy of this font from his website Old English at the University of Virginia (select "Windows TrueType," or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer).  This font must be downloaded and installed before these pages will display accurately.

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols from a Manuscript in the British Museum of the Fifteenth Century (London: Printed by Richards for The Warton Club, 1856), Hymn XLVIII, pp. 69-70.

M and A, and R and I,
Syngyn I wjl a newe song.

It wern fowre letterys of purposy,
M and A, R and I,
Tho wern letteris of Mary,
    Of hom al our joye sprong.

On the mownt of Calvory,
With M and A, R and I,
There he betyn his bryte body
    With schorges that wern bothe scharp and long.

Our swete lady stod hym by,
With M and A, and R and I,
Che wept water with here ey,
    And alwey the blod folwyd among.

God that sit above the sky,
With M and A, and R, and I,
Save now al this cumpany,
    And send us joye and blysse ammong.

Notes:

Another version of this song on this web site:

A song with a similar theme:

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