Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)
1. When Adam first in Paradise
From God's presence did fly,
For eating the forbidden fruit
Condemned was to die,
And by that fall fell mankind all,
Till God in mercy said
His own dear Son should man become,
And Justice should be paid.
To save us all from sin and thrall
When we were left forlorn,
All men on earth rejoice with mirth,
For Christ this tide was born.
2. And when fullness of time was come,
According to Heav'n's decree,
A glorious Angel was sent down
To the Virgin Mary.
A virgin sure of mind most pure
And holy life was she;
With those words sweet he did her greet,
All hail, Mary, quoth he. Chorus
3. Thou that art highly in esteem,
Know this and understand,
Thou shalt conceive and bear a Son,
Redemption is at hand.
Be not afraid, thou beauteous maid,
No doubt how this can be;
The Holy Ghost with power most
Shall overshadow thee. Chorus
4. The blessed Mary did believe,
And then these words spake she,
Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
So be it unto me.
And at the last it came to pass,
Her time being fully come,
Within a stable she brought forth
Her first begotten Son. Chorus
5. And now let neighbours all rejoice
Together with they meet,
Let's praise the Lord with heart and voice,
With love each other greet.
Neighbours in old times did rejoice,
And feast on this blest tide;
The times never knew these fashions new
Old customs to deride. Chorus
6. Now in your mirth abandon vile
For these are things that will defile
Your Christian liberty.
Feed well the hungry, clothe the poor,
And such as stand in need:
This is the way to celebrate
A true Christmas indeed. Chorus
Editor's Note: The first two lines of the chorus are evocative of the last two lines of the first verse from God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen:
"To save us all from Satan's Power
When we were gone astray."