The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Of M. A. R. I. Syng I Wyll A New Song

For Christmas

Words and Music: Traditional English
Bodleian Library. MS. Eng. Poet. e. 1. XV Century.

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #26, 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.

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font for best display. You 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.

    Of M. A. R. I. syng I wyll a new song

Of these iiij. letters purpose I,
Of M. and A., R. and I,,
Thei betokyn mayd Mary,
            All owre joy of hyr sprong.

Withou3ten wem of hyr body,
M. and A., R. and I.,
Of hyr was borne a kyng truly
            For Jewys dedyn to deth with wrong.

Upon the mounte of Calvery,
M. and A., R. and I.,
Ther thei betyn hys bar body,
          With schorges that war sharp and long.

Our der lady she stod hym by,
M. and A., R. and I.,
And wepe water ful bytterly,
          And terys of blod ever among.

Note from Wright:

Another copy of this song is found in Sloane MS., fol. 24, v0, with some not very important variations.

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