The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A New Carol of Our Lady

Words and Music: English Traditional
From Richard Kele's Christmas Carols, in Bliss's Biographical Miscellanies, 1813

 

About 1546

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 36.

Compare: Lordes and ladyes all by dene
Lordes and Ladyes All By Dene - Sandys

1. Lords and ladies all bydene,1
    For your goodness and honour,
Will you sing all of a queen;
    Of all women she is the flower.
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

2. Of Jesse there sprang a wight,
    Isaiah said by prophecy,
Of whom shall come a man of might,
    From death to life He will us buy.
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

 

3. There came an angel bright of face,
    Flying from heaven with full great light,
And said, "Hail! Mary, full of grace,
    For thou shalt bear a man of might."
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

4. Astonied was that lady free,
    And had marvel of that greeting.
"Angel," she said, "how may that be?
    For never of man I had knowing."
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

5. "Dread thou nothing, Mary mild,
    Thou art fulfilled with great virgue;
Thou shalt conceive and bear a child
    That shall be named sweet Jesu."
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

6. She kneeled down upon her knee,
    With heart, thought, and mild cheer:
"As thou hast said, so may it be,
    God's handmaid I am here."
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

7. Then began her womb to spring,
    She went with child without man,
He that is lord over all thin,
    His flesh and blood of her had then.
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

8. Of her was born our Heaven-King,
    And she a maid nevertheless;
Therefore be merry and let us sing,
    For this new lord of Christmas.
        Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell
        This said the angel Gabriel.

Note:

1. Together. Return

Editor's Note:

This is one of the carols that were first printed by Richard Kele, Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (circa 1550), reprinted in Philip Bliss, Biographical Miscellanies (1813), and included in Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols of the 16th Century, Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

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