The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O, Fair Jerusalem

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: G. Walters, A Good Christmas Box (Dudley: G. Walters, 1847, Reprinted by Michael Raven, 2007), p. 15.

1. O fair, O fair Jerusalem,
When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end,
Thy joy that I may see?

God in the trinity,
With holy mighty hand,
Hath made the sea, the moon and stars,
The waters and the land.

Six days in every week
Are for the labouring man;
The seventh for the glorious Lor
The Father and the Son.

And when we go to church,
Down on our knees we fall,
And there we pray that Jesus Christ
Would bless and save us all.

For to redeem our souls,
Christ died in our stead;
I ne'er can do for Jesus Christ
As he hath done for m.

O pray teach well our children now,
The while that you are here,
It will be better for your soul
When you lie on the bier.

When children are so young
They are but little taught;
'Tis better never to be born
That to live and be untaught.

To0day a man's alive and well,
Worth many a thousand pound,
To-morrow morning may be dead,
And his corpse laid under ground.

With a turf at your clay-cold head,
And another at your feet;
They good deeds and thy bad, O man,
Before the Lord shall meet.

O tho' thou dress in gaudy clothes,
And proudly look so gay,
The worms shall eat thy flesh O man,
Thy bones shall mould away.

And nothing shalt thou have,
Except a winding sheet,
Thy good deeds and thy bad, O man,
Before the Lord shall meet.


Verse 1 in this carol is verse 3 in the well-known carol, The Moon Shines Bright (also found under the title The Bellman's Song, and four or five other titles).

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