The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ye Sons of Men with Me Rejoice

Third Carol for Christmas Day


Tune: Third Carol for Christmas Day


The Kilmore Carols

Christmas Carols of Waddinge and Devereux

Source: Joseph Ranson, “The Kilmore Carols” from The Past, no. 5 (1949), pp. 75-78.

Ye sons of men with me rejoice,
And praise the Heav'ns with heart and voice,
For joyful tidings you we bring,
Of this Heav'nly Babe, the new born King.

Who from His mighty throne above
Came down to manifest His love
To all such as would Him embrace,
And would be born again in grace.

The mystery for to unfold:
When the King of Kings He did behold
The poor unhappy state of man,,
He sent His dear beloved Son.

From the brink of Hell He set us free:
A greater love could never be.
The Son of God to be made Man,
And man to be made God's own son.

An angel sent by Heavens command
To a spotless virgin in the land;
To one of the seed of David, King,
These joyful tidings for to bring.

He hailed this Virgin, full of grace,
And told Her that in nine month’s space,
She should bring forth a Son and He
The Saviour of mankind should be.

When Mary, that most blessed maid,
Heard all the Angel to her said,
She to retirement straight did hie,
The Lord to praise and magnify.

She piously with great content
Each day in contemplation spent;
Until at length the time drew near,
To Bethlehem she did repair.

She, friendless, rangèd up and down
To find a lodging in the town,
But oh! alas! that heavenly guest
No pity found in grief oppressed.

She in pain was forced to hie
Unto a stable that was nigh,
Where of a Son she delivered was
Between an ox and a silly1 ass.

The spotless mother, wife and maid,
No mortal had to lend her aid;
Exposed to want and piercing cold,
The Lord of life you may behold.

The night of His Nativity
The people in the Heavens did see
Strange wonders which did them surprise,
But none the reason could premise.

The learned men thought it to be
A sign of Cæsars’ prosperitie,
But some that notion did control
And said that Isaac had foretold

The coming of this heavenly Boy,
Who would their oracles destroy,
Their magic spells and temples tear,
Which afterwards performèd were.

As earth with a new Son is blessed,
So heaven with a new star is dressed,
The shepherds, warned by an angel, were
To Bethlehem straight to repair.

The shepherds gladly did obey;
To Bethlehem they take their way,
And as the angel did report,
They found the Saviour in that sort

Within a manger there he lay,
His dress was neither rich nor gay,
In Him you truly there might see
A pattern of humility.

Three eastern kings came forth to see
This heavenly Babe come from on high,
Directed by a glorious star
Which they espied from afar.

Their gifts of gold and precious things
They laid before the King of Kings,
Their homage paid with humble heart,
Then joyfully did they depart.

The rumour spread both far and near
Of the Birth of Christ, Our Saviour dear.
That which King Herod came to know,
And strove His work to overthrow.

An angel sent down from on high,
Then ordered Joseph for to fly
To Egypt with Mother and Child,
And there remain for a while.

But Herod full of wrath and gall
Commanded that both great and small,
All under two years old should be
Throughout the land slain instantly.

Deep lamentations you might hear
By every tender mother dear,
To hear their infants' sighs and groans,
Their brains dashed out against the stones.

This massacre was carried on,
Thinking to murder God’s own Son;
His persecution soon begun,
But His hour was not yet come.

He in the temple did dispute,
And many errors did confute;
He healed the lepers—raised the dead;
At His command the devils fled.

For all those great and mighty things
Performèd by the King of Kings,
To bring us to the light of grace,
They threw dirt in His Blessed Face.

Let each good Christian great and small
Repair unto the ox’s stall:
From those three kings example take;
To this sweet Babe your offering make.

Give Him your heart the first of all,
Free from all malice, wrath and gall.
And now He’s on His throne on high,
He will crown you eternally,

Sheet Music "Third Carol for Christmas Day" from Ranson, "The Kilmore Carols," p. 75.


1. Original meaning of silly – blessed. Return

Note by Joseph Ranson:

This Carol is no longer sung at Kilmore; formerly it was sung before Mass on Christmas Day—that is, while the people were gathering for the Holy Sacrifice. The air has been preserved in the Devereux family and was taken down from the singing Of John Devereux, Kilmore, January 25th, 1949. The last time this Carol was sung was about 100 years ago when Peter Devereux, John's grandfather sang on the Kilmore choir for the first time.

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