Nowel. To Us Is Born Our God Emmanuel
Words and melody from a parchment roll in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Mode VIII.
Date: Fifteenth Century.
Compare:In Beth'lem This Berd Of Life
Source: Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #22, pp. 42-43.
Nowel, nowel, nowel,
To us is born our God Emmanuel.
2. This Child shall buy us with His blood,
And be nailėd upon the rood.
His ransom paseth all earthly good.
Alas! What wight dare bė so wood,4
3. By His power He His emprise5
4 This maiden's Son to His empire
Shall rise, to heaven by His power;
The Holy Ghost us all shall lere
5. Pray we this Child with good intent,
Notes from Rev. Terry:
1. [At the beginning of the first verse] I have omitted two superfluous beats rest here.
2. Berd -- Child. Return
3. Schrife -- proclaim, assert. This is an extended meaning of the word, but it has the authority of the N.F.D. [Ed. a Dictionary, I presume] Return
4. Wood -- mad. Return
5. Emprise -- booty. Applied to prisoners to whom the victor has a right. Return
6. Lere -- Teach. Return
7. In fere -- together. Return
8. Leve -- believe. Return
9. Setyn -- Put to rest. Return
Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #22, pp. 42-43.
The manuscript "MS. Eng. poet. e. 1." was the source manuscript for Thomas Wright's Songs and Carols Now First Printed From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century; it is now in the Bodleian Library.
See in the Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. poet. e. 1 (scroll down to get to "e. 1"), c. 1460-1480. There is a single image, fol. 41v, described as "Musical notation in a minstrel's manuscript; the text begins "Nowell, nowell, nowell, pis is pe salutacyon of pe angel gabryell" with "Bryng us in good ale" in lower margin, c. 1460-90; anglicana script." It doesn't appear that the entire volume has been scanned, or, if so, that it is readily available for viewing.
Comtrast: Nowel. To Us Is Born Our God Emmanuel (With Sheet Music) from the Selden MS. (Selden MS. B.26 f. 27v.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Mode VIII.
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