The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

There Were Ten Virgins

For Christmas

Words: Africian-American Spiritual

Music: Africian-American Spiritual

Source: Robert R. Moton, ed., Religious Folk Songs of the Negro As Sung on the Plantations. Fourth Edition. (Hampton, VA.: The Institute Press, 1909), pp. 90-91. Arranged by the Musical Directors of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. Original edition of 1874 by Thomas P. Fenner.

1. There were ten Virgins when the Bridegroom come,
There were ten Virgins when He come,
There were ten Virgins, there were ten Virgins,
There were ten Virgins when He come.

2. And five of them were wise, When, etc.

3. And five of them were foolish, When, etc.

4. And the foolish said to the wise, When, etc.

5. O give us of your oil, When, etc.

6. And the wise said to the foolish, When, etc.

7. O go to them that sell, When, etc.

8. And buy for yourselves, When, etc.

Sheet Music from


There are numerous carols based on the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. 25:1-13, a few of which include:

Rejoice Rejoice Believers

Sleepers, Wake! the Watch-Cry Pealeth

Slumberers, Wake, The Bridegroom Cometh!

Up! Awake! From Highest Steeple

Wake, Awake, For Night Is Flying

Wake, O Wake! With Tidings Thrilling

Wake! The Startling Watch-Cry Pealeth

And the German:

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme

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