The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A Child This Day Is Born

For Christmas

Version 2
A Child This Day Is Born - Version 1
A Child This Day is Born - Bramley & Stainer - Version 3
A Child This Day Is Born - Pettman - Version 4

Words & Music: Traditional

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)

1. A Child this day is born,
A Child of high renown.
Most worthy of a scepter,
A scepter and a crown.

Novels, Novels, Novels,
Novels sing all we may,
Because the King of all kings
Was born this blessed day.

2. The which the holy Prophets
Spake of long time before,
That from the fall of Adam
He should us all restore. Refrain

3. This Child both God and Man
From Heaven down to us came,
He is the King of all Kings,
And Jesus is His Name. Refrain

4. These tidings Shepherds heard
In field watching their fold,
Was by an Angel unto them
That night reveal'd and told. Refrain

5. Who standing near by them
To them shined so bright,
That they amazed were
At that most glorious sight. Refrain

6. To whom the Angel spoke,
Saying, Be not afraid,
Be glad, poor silly shepherds;
Why are you so dismayed; Refrain

7. For lo, I bring you tidings
Of gladness and of mirth,
Which cometh to all people by
This holy Infant’s birth. Refrain

8. Him hath God lifted up
As light and shepherd’s horn,
Which in the city of David
This present time was born. Refrain

9. The only Son of God was he
The Lord and God most Highest;
And he is the true Shepherd,
The young child Jesus Christ. Refrain

10. Then there was with the Angel
A Host incontinent
Of heavenly bright soldiers,
Which from the Highest was sent. Refrain

11. Lauding the Lord our God,
And his Celestial King;
All Glory be in Paradise,
This heavenly Host did sing. Refrain

12. Glory be unto our God,
That sitteth still on high,
With praises and with triumph great,
And joyful melody. Refrain

13. But when this holy Army
Of heavenly soldiers bright
Was unto God returned
And vanish'd out of sight; Refrain

14. The Shepherds hearts joyful
At this great glorious news
That the King of all Kings
Was risen amongst the Jews. Refrain

15. Without the least of hindrance
Anon they went in then,
And found the young child Jesus Christ
Thus born in Bethlehem. Refrain

16. And as the Angel told them,
So to them did appear;
They found the young child Jesus Christ
With Mary his Mother dear. Refrain

17. Now such a place it was
Where this was come to pass
For want of room this Child was laid
Betwixt an ox and ass. Refrain

18. Not sumptuously, but simply
Was this young King arrayed,
A manger was the cradle
Where this young Child was laid. Refrain

19. No pride at all was found
In this most holy Child,
But He being void of all sin
The Lamb of God most mild. Refrain

20. His body unto bitter pains
He gave to set us free:
He is our Saviour Jesus Christ
And none but only He. Refrain

21. To Father, Son and Holy Ghost
All glory be therefore,
To whom be all dominion
Both now and evermore. Refrain

Sheet Music from Sandys, 1833

Sheet Music from William Sandys, Christmas-tide, Its History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 242-6.

Sheet Music from Richard R. Terry, Gilbert and Sandys' Christmas Carols (London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne, Ltd., 1931)
SATB: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), p. 41.

023-Novels.jpg (141696 bytes)

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Old Christmas Carols. Part One. (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1923), #16, p. 20.

OCC-20.jpg (398345 bytes)

Also found in Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Christmas Carols Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

Wright, quoting Sandys, omits verses 8 and 17. Verse 2 is moved to the 12th verse position.

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