The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Lordynges, I warne yow al be-forne

Words and Music: Traditional English
(From MS. Harl, No. 2252, fol. 154, r0, of the fifteenth century. This and the preceeding [Yf Crystmas day on the Sonday be] ought not strictly to have a place among a collection of carols, but they are curious illustrations of one part of the old popular belief relating to Christmas Day.)

Source: Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

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See notes in F A Q

Lordynges, I warne yow al be-forne
Yef that day that Cryste was borne
Falle uppon a Sunday,
That wynter shalbe good par fay,
But grete wyndes alofte shalbe,
The somer shalbe fayre and drye;
By kynde skylle, wyth-owtyn lesse,
Throw all londes shalbe peas,
And good tyme all thyngs to don;
But he that stelythe, he shalbe frownde sone;
Whate chylde that day bore be,
A great lorde he shalle ge, etc.

Yf Crystemas day on Monday be,
A grete wynter that yere have shall ye,
And full of wyndes lowde and stylle;
But the somer, trewly to telle,
Shalbe sterne wyndes also,
And fulle of tempeste all thereto;
All batayle multyplye;
And grete plenty of beeve shall dye.
They that be borne that day, I wene,
They shall be strong eche on and kene;
And he that stelylythe owghte;
Thow thowe be seke, thou dyeste not.

Yf Crystemas day on Tuysday be,
That yere shall dyen wemen plenté;
And that wynter wex grete marvaylys;
Shyppys shalbe in grete perylles;
That yere shall kynges and lordes be slayne,
And myche hothyr pepylle agayne heym.
A drye somer that yere shalbe;
Alle that be borne ther in many se,
They shalbe stronge and covethowse.
Yf thou stele awghte, thou lesyste thi lyfe;
Thou shalte dye throwe swerde or knyfe;
But and thow fall seke, sertayne,
Thou shalte turne to lyfe agayne.

Yf Crystmas day, the sote to say,
Fall uppon a Wodnysday,
That yere shalbe an harde wynter and strong,
And many hydens wyndes amonge;
The somer mere and good shalbe;
That yere shalbe wete grete plenté;
Young folke shall dye that yere also,
And shyppus in the see shall have gret woo.
Whate chylde that day borne ys,
He shalbe dowghtye and lyghte i-wysse,
And wyse and slyee also of dede,
And fynde many men mete and wede

If Crystemas day on Thursday be,
A wyndy wynter se shalle yee,
Of wyndes and weders all wecked,
And harde tempestes strong and thycke.
The somer shalbe good and drye,
Cornys and bestes shall multyplye:
That yere ys good londes to tylthe;
And kynges and prynces shalle dye by skylle.
Whate chylde that day borne bee,
He shalle have happe ryghte well to the,
Of dedes he shalbe good and stabylle,
Of speche and tonge wyse and resonabylle.
Who so that day ony thefte abowte,
He shalbe shente wyth-owtyn dowte;
And yf sekenes on the that day betyde,
Hyt shall sone fro the glyde.

If Crystmas day on the Fryday be,
The fyrste of wynter harde shalbe,
With froste and snowe and with flode,
But the laste ende thereof ys goode.
Agayn, the somer shalbe good also;
Folkes in hyr yen shall have grete woo;
Wemen wyth chyld, bestes, wyth corne,
Shall multyplye, and none be lorne.
The chyde that ys borne that day,
Shall longe lyve and lecherowus be aye.
Who so stelythe awghte, he shalbe fownde;
And thou be seke, hyte lastythe not longe.

Yf Chrystmas day on the Saerday falle,
That wynter ys to be dredden alle;
Hyt shalbe so full of grete tempeste,
That hyt shall sle bothe man and beste;
Frute and corne shall fayle grete won,
And ole folke dyen many on.
Whate woman that day of chylde travayle,
They shalbe borne in grete perelle;
And chyldren that be borne that day,
Within halfe a yere they shall dye, par fay.
The somer than shall wete ryghte ylle;
Yf thou awghte stele, hyt shal the spylle;
Thou dyest yf sekenes take the.

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