The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Young And Old Must Raise The Lay

For Christmas

Words: Rev. John Mason Neale, ca. 1855
Version 2, Revised for St. Margaret's Hymnal at an unknown date.

See: Young And Old Must Raise The Lay-1855, with notes.

Music: Tempus adest floridum, a 13th Century spring carol that was adapted by Rev. Thomas Helmore from Piae Cantiones, 1582.

Source: Mary Sackville Lawson, et al, eds., Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols of John Mason Neale (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), p. 307.

1. Young and old must raise the lay
    That their heart engages :
For the Child is born to-day
    Who is King of ages :
For the God, by all adored,
    Comes to His elected :
For the Babe that is the Lord
    Hastes to be rejected.

2. If the purple proves the King,
    Where is goodly raiment ?
If man needeth ransoming,
    Who shall make the payment ?
For the purple, here is grass;
    For the throne, the manger;
For the courtiers, ox and ass
    Kneel before the Stranger.

3. Joshua hastes to meet the foes.
    Boastful and defiant;
David to his brethren goes.
    And shall slay the giant:
Help is nigh to change our fate.
    Help we may rely on :
Solomon, with royal state.
    Shall be crowned in Gihon.1

4. Through the desert as we go.
    Sorrowful and fearing,
From the Rock the waters flow,
    That shall work our cheering.
Manna, wherewith all are fed.
    Comes for our salvation;
Born in Bethlehem, House of Bread,
    By interpretation.

5. Young and old must raise the lay
    That their heart engages :
For the Child is born to-day
    Who is King of ages.
Young and old their deeds so frame.
    That as He came hither.
They, when He their lives shall claim,
    May to Him go thither.


1. Gihon is the name of a spring near Jerusalem, where Solomon was anointed to succeed David. Return

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #417
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Young_And_Old_417.gif (183168 bytes)

Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1902, Revised and Expanded Edition 1929), Carol #15
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

This reprinting follows the St. Margaret's Hymnal version except for formatting (10 stanzas of 4 lines).

Editor's Note.

For the background of this carol, see Young And Old Must Raise The Lay-1855. For the final version, see Young And Old Must Raise The Lay-1866.

The differences between the first version and this version are:

There will be one change in the final version:

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