The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Twelve Apostles

For Christmas

Version 1

Compare: The Twelve Apostles (From A Good Christmas Box)

Contrast: The Twelve Apostles - Version 2 - A Different Song From Broadwood & Maitland

Words and Music: English Traditional

Source: Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 48-50.

1. When Jesus Christ had lived
    Full thirty years or more,
He work-ed many wondrous works
    With His twelve apostles pure.

2. He delivered up the twelve
    A sacrament to take
He shewed Simon an Hebrew house
    A Testament to make.

3. Then Judas with the Jews
    Our Saviour did betray
And unto him for thirty pence
    Jesus was sold away.

4. Then Judas he came, in
    With a troop of arm-ed men,
And bound his Master fast in bonds,
    In whom there was no sin.

5. And for His garments brave
    The soldiers did cast dice,
Which was a garment without seam
    And a jewel of great price.

6. They led Him on straightway
    Unto His judgment place;
Without Godís leave He was condemned
    To die in vile disgrace.

7. Between two ruffian rogues
    They nailed our Saviour up
They left His body there to bleed
    In tormentís bitter cup.

8. They nailed His hands and feet,
    And crowned His head with thorns,
And gave Him vinegar to drink
    With many reproachful scorns.

9. Now all things seemed to mourn
    When our blessed Saviour died
The hills and rocks did rend,
    The mountains did divide.

10. The heavens themselves grew very dark,
    The moon forsook her light
And for three hours in the day
    It was a dismal sight.

11. The earth did tremble and quake,
    And graves did open wide
Dead menís ghosts walked up and down
    In a frightful manner beside.

12. At any Christmas time,
Amongst good Christians all,
This Christmas carol may be sung
In any house or hail.

Sheet Music From Sharp

Notes from Sharp:

Sung by Mr. Samson Bates of Lilleshall, Shropshire.

Mr. Bates sang from a copy of A Good Christmas Box, from which the words in the text have been copied. The carol is mentioned in Honeís list [Christmas Carols now annually Printed].

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