The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

What Strangers Are These

Words: Traditional, described as an 'Old Scottish Carol' in Richard Purvis' 1945 arrangement.
Music: Tune 'The mill, mill-o', Scottish traditional, arrangement by Jim Rasmussen and Paul McDowell 2002.

1. What strangers are these that wander through the town?
Hush, 'tis Joseph and weary Mary.
And what does he seek so hopeless and in vain?
He is seeking shelter for Mary.
For she is the blest and chosen of the Lord,
Who will bear to us a goodly King.
And who is this king of whom ye proudly sing?
Know ye not the Christ, Jesus the Saviour?

2. What wee bairn is this that in a manger lies?
Hush, 'tis Jesus Christ, Son of Mary.
Say what fair maid is this whose joy is mixed with awe?
O 'tis Mary, Holy Mother of Jesus.
O these are the shepherds and these the magi kings
Who have brought him their gifts of gold and myrrh.
But why kneel in homage here before a babe?
They adore their King, Jesus the Saviour.

3. Who are these that march from death unto life?
These are they who love Jesus the Christ Child.
And how do they triumph o'er the gates of hell?
Through the grace of him, Jesus the Saviour.
He is born to redeem mankind from sin and strife,
To bring peace, joy, love and brotherhood.
O where shall I find him? Where shall I seek?
He is here and now, Jesus your Saviour.

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