The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Peasant's Pilgrimage

For Christmas

Words: Touro-louro-louro! Lou gau canto

English Words by Richard R. Terry; from a literal translation supplied by F. Whitehead

Music: A Provençal Noël.

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #87, pp. 18-21.

1. Tu-re-lu-re-lu! The cock doth crow,
Tho' dawn of day has scarce begun.
I must leave you, bound for Bethlem,
There to greet the new-born Son.
You'll go with me?
No, no, no, no!
I pray you come?
I will not go!
Guillaume! Guillaume!
Should I not return at least,
Have the Seven Psalms1 said for me.
Alas! My Lord! What shall I do?
Scared as a chick be I (Och-one!)
When I'm alone, When I'm alone.

2. Tu-re-lu-re-lu! The breeze doth blow
And makes me blow me fingers too.
Faith, i'm in a mort o' trouble;
Froze I be all through and through.
Ho, Landlord, Ho!
Who knocks below?
A bed I pray.
All full, I say!
Granjiero! Granjiero!1
Drub me, for I'm froze all stiff:
Above me, in the hayloft there-o
Alas! My Lord! What shall I do?
Unhappy me! Where shall I go?
I'll catch me death.
In this here snow.

3. Tu-re-lu-re-lu! The stream doth flow
A flooding pasture, vale and lea.
Faith I fear there's naught but swimming;
Ne'er a footway can I see.
A boat! A boat!
There's none afloat!
Where shall I crow?
Go try the fosse!
Ah Saviour! Ah Saviour!
Why be now so hard on me?
Is't for all my past behaviour?
Alas! My Lord! What shall I do?
How shall I cross? (There's no way round.)
I'll sure be drowned,
I'll sure be drowned.

4. Tu-re-lu-re-lu! By fortune splendid,
From all dangers now set free,
Safe and sound. (The journey ended.)
Here in Bethlehem town I be.
Good day to all! Good day to ye!
What's now a stir?
You soon shall see!
Maria, Maria, 3
I wish you joy of a fair Son, 3
Who is the true Messiah:
Good Saint Joseph. If you trust me
That little Child to me you'll show;
I love Him so, I love Him so.


1. Editor's Footnote: The Seven Psalms, also known as the Seven Penitential Psalms, are; 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143. They are recited as an act of contrition, expressing sorrow for sins committed and asking for God’s forgiveness. They are available on-line, in Latin and English, at The Medievalist. For a look into the meaning and history these Psalms, see Clare Costley King’oo, Miserere Mei, The Penitential Psalms in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012) [the link is to a PDF copy of the book].  This work earned the 2012 Book of the Year award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. The book takes its title from the central Psalm in the series, Psalm 51, which begins in Latin “Miserere mei,” or “Have mercy on me.” King’oo is an associate professor of English at the University of Connecticut. Return.

2. Rev. Terry Footnote. Granjiero = Keeper of the barn. Return.

3. Footnote from Rev. Terry.

These two words are placed inn the same positions as in the original where they rhyme (“Mario” with “Messio”). If it is desired to make them rhyme here (though I do not suggest it) continental vowel sounds should be used for both words. Return.

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #87, pp. 18-21.

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