The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Wexford Carol

For Christmas

Words and Music: Anonymous
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer
Wexford_Carol-Bloomfield.pdf

The PDF file was provided by a friend of this web site, Benjamin Bloomfield,
who had placed this file and its contents in the public domain.
He wrote that
the arrangement was based on a public domain score from Free-scores.com,
with additional lyrics from
Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined.

Meter: 88 88 88 88 or 88 88 D

1. Good people all, this Christmas-time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved Son.
With Mary holy we should pray
To God with love this Christmas day;
In Bethlehem upon that morn
There was a blessed Messiah born.

2. The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town.
But mark how all things came to pass;
From every door repelled alas!
As long foretold, their refuge all
Was but an humble ox's stall.

3. There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star,
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay,
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah was,
They humbly cast them at his feet,
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

4. Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep;
To whom God's angels did appear,
Which put the shepherds in great fear.
'Prepare and go.' the angels said.
'To Bethlehem, be not afraid;
For there you'll find, this happy morn,
A princely babe, sweet Jesus born.'

5. With thankful heart and joyful mind,
The shepherds went the babe to find,
And as God's angel had foretold,
They did our saviour Christ behold.
Within a manger he was laid,
And by his side the virgin maid,
Attending on the Lord of life,
Who came on earth to end all strife.

Sheet Music to a similar carol, Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined, from Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931); "Words and melody from Gilbert's 'Christmas Carols,' 1822"
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Note:

Also known as "The Enniscorthy Carol."

I was previously under the mistaken impression that this was one of Bishop Luke Waddinge's carols (1684), and also found in Rev. William Devereux's A New Garland Containing Songs for Christmas (1728). After obtaining a copy of the article by Rev. Joseph Ranson (The Past, 1949; see Music and Manuscripts), I found that this was not the case, but, rather, that it was discovered by Dr. Grattan Flood who lived in County Wexford, Ireland. According to the Oxford Book of Carols, verses 1, 2, 4, & 5 are from Shawcross's Old Castleton Christmas Carols (1903-1904). The first verse is also recorded by R. Vaughan Williams, Eight Traditional English Carols, No. 7.

The editors of the New Oxford Book of Carols are undoubtedly correct in observing the relationship between this carol and the body of carols known as the Kilmore Carols; see Christmas Carols of Waddinge and Devereux.

The editors of the Oxford Book of Carols also wrote that another version is found in Sharp's English Folk-Carols, No. 8, The Sinner's Redemption (Warwickshire) (First line: "All you that are unto mirth inclined"); note that it has a different meter (99 88). This is one of a large number of very similar carols, as the following lists can attest.

Editor's Note: There are a number of carols on this website with similar titles or lyrical themes, and some of which are derived from a single source.

Old Christmas Returned, which occurs under three different titles:

A similar title, but a very different carol is All You That Are To Mirth Inclined (often under the title of "The Sinner's Redemption"), and with slight changes, especially to just the first line of the first verse (and hence sold as "a new Christmas carol"). The first verse of those carols is believed to be the basis for the first verse of the Wexford Carol:

All you that are to mirth inclin'd,
Consider well, and bear in mind,
What our good God hath for us done,
In sending his beloved Son

See: All You That Are To Mirth Inclined - Notes.

See also:

See A Garritan Community Christmas for MP3s:
Wexford Carol, Jim Williams
The Wexford Carol, Joseph Carrillo

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