The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

This New Christmas Carol

Compare: This New Christmas Carrol - Sandys

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: Davies Gilbert, Some Ancient Christmas Carols. London: John Nichols And Son, Second Edition, 1823, pp. 35-8, Carol #11

1. This new Christmas Carol
    Let us cheerfully sing,
To the honour and glory
    Of our Heavenly King,
Who was born of a Virgin,
    Blessed Mary by name;
For poor sinners' redemption
    To the world here he came.

2. O the mighty Jehova
    By the Prophets foretold
That the sweet Babe of Heaven
    Mortal eyes should behold:
Both a King, Prince, and Prophet,
    Nay our Saviour beside,
Let his name through all ages
    Every be glorified.

3. Now when Joseph, and Mary
    Was exposed, we find,
Having seen her condition,
    He was grieved in mind,
Aye, and thought to dismiss her,
    Whom he loved so dear;
But an Angel from Heaven
    Did her innocence clear.

4. He declar'd in a vision
    That a Son she should have,
By the Father appointed
    Fallen mortals to save;
And the same should be called
    Blessed Jesus by name:
From the High Court of Heaven
    This Ambassador came.

5. Then the righteous man Joseph
    Believed the news,
And the sweet Virgin Mary
    He did no wise refuse.
Thus the Blest amongst Women
    She did bear and bring forth
A sweet Prince of Salvation
    Both in Heaven and in Earth.

6. Then the day of her travail
    Did begin to draw nigh,
Righteous Joseph and Mary
    Immediately hie
To the City of David,
    To be taxed indeed
Even as Csar Augustus
    Had firmly decreed.

7. Being come to the City,
    Entertainment they crav'd,
But the inns were so fill'd,
    They no lodging could have.
For the birth of our Saviour,
    Though he was Prince of all,
He could have there no palace
    But a poor ox's stall.

8. Now the proud may come hither
    And perfectly see
The most excellent pattern
    Of humility;
For instead of a cradle,
    Deck'd with ornaments gay,
The great King of all Glory
    In a manger he lay.

9. As the Shepherds were feeding
    Of their flocks in the field,
The sweet birth of our Saviour
    Unto them was reveal'd
By blest Angels of Glory,
    Who these tidings did bring,
And directed the Shepherds
    To their Heavenly King.

10. When the Wise Men discover'd
    The bright heavenly Star,
Then with gold and rich spices
    Straight they came from far,
In obedience to worship
    With a heavenly mind,
Knowing that he was born
    For the good of mankind.

11. Let us learn of these Sages,
    Who were wise to obey,
Nay we find through all ages
    They have honour'd this day
Ever since our Redeemer's
    Blest Nativity,
Who was born of a Virgin,
    To set poor sinners free.

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 689
Melody: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

SATB: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Sheet Music from Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1913), Carol #10. This version contains verses 1, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of the above. This arrangement is the same as that found in Hutchins, above.

Note from Shaw and Dearmer:

"It seemed best, in order to avoid monotony, to write the melody of the 3rd phrase a tone lower. In the first printed copy the tune consists of one phrase repeated three times. It is quite likely that the tune was incorrectly noted from the singer."

Sheet Music from Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

"Words a cento from Sandys"

1. This new Christmas carol
Let us bravely sing,
To the praise and glory of our heavenly King,
Who was born of virgin lowly;
(Mary was her name.)
And for us and our redemption
The world here came.

2. Now the proud may come, and
With their eyes may see
The most gracious pattern
Of humility.
In the stead of royal cradle
Decked with colours gay,
Here the King of grace and glory
In a manger lay.

3. As the shepherds watched
O'er their flocks a-field
The sweet birth of Jesus
Was to them revealed;
For a seraph host from heaven
Did the tidings bring,
And directed those poor shepherds
To their heavenly King.

4. When the wise men, haply,
Saw the heavenly star,
Then with gold and spices
Straight they came from far,
In obedience for to worship
With an heavenly mind,
For they wist that, by His coming,
He would save mankind.

5. Let us with those sages
Learn how to obey
Nay through all the ages
Men have kept this day,
Ever since our great Redeemer's
Blest nativity,
Who was born of purest Virgin
Sinners to set free.

Terry's Note:

"This Carol raises an interesting point if we remember (a) that Sandys collected his material in the west of England and (b) that Cornish folk are Bretons. In this instance the words of his carol (in the naive doggerel of the period) are wedded to a tune which is nothing more than a fourfold repetition of the first phrase (with note-values freely altered) of an old Breton Chanson de Danse.  This seems to point to a common origin for both tunes, if Sandys' monotonous lilt can be called a tune. In these circumstances I have felt justified in restoring the melody to its original complete form, making a cento of Sandys' words to fit the original note-values. This latter proceeding would be unpardonable if Sandys' words were poetry, or even tolerable verse, Which they are not. The restoration of the original tune at lease provides choirs with a coherent melody in a definite musical form in place of a scrappy phrase, hardly worth reprinting.

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Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New

This New Christmas Carol - Hutchins

Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols

This New Christmas Carol - Terry

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