The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

A New Year, A New Year

Alternate Title: So Blessed Be The Time

 

Words and Music: English Traditional, Fifteenth Century

 

Compare: A new yer! a new yer! a chyld was i-born (Thomas Wright, 1841)
Wright gives his source as from MS. Sloan 2593, fol. 70, r0

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 65-66

1. A New Year, A New Year, a child was yborn,
Us for to saven that all was forlorn,
    So blessed be the time.

2. The Father of heaven His own Son He sent,
His kingdom for to claimen (on earth is He lent).
    So blessed be the time.

3. All in a clean maiden our Lord was ylight,
Us for to saven with all His might.
    So blessed be the time.

4. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, mine own dear fode,1
How shalt Thou suffer (to) be nailed on the Rood?"
    So blessed be the time.

5. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, mine own dear smart,2
How shalt Thou suffer the sharp spear to Thy heart?
    So blessed be the time.

6. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, I sing all for Thy sake,
Many (a) one is the sharp shower to Thy body is shape!"
    So blessed be the time.

7. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, fair haps Thee befall,
How shalt Thou suffer to drink eisel3 and gall?"
    So blessed be the time.

8. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, I sing all beforn,
How shalt Thou suffer the sharp garland of thorn?"
    So blessed be the time.

9. "Lullay, lullay, little Child, why weepest Thou so sore,
And art Thou (then) both God and man, what wouldest Thou be more?
    So blessed be the time.

10. Blessed be the arms the the Child have tucked,4
And also the teats the Child hath5 sucked.
    So blessed be the time.

11. Blessed be the mother, the Child also,
With Benedicamus Domino.
    So blessed be the time.

Notes from Rickert:

1. Nursling. Return

2. Cause of grief? Return

3. Vinegar. Return

4. Text: bar abowt. Return

5. Text: on. Return

Sheet Music: Richard R. Terry, Twelve Christmas Carols (London: J. Curwen & Sons, Ltd., 1912), pp. 8-9.


Also found in Ralph Fletcher Seymour, Four Old Christmas Carols (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1903), who adds the following fourth verse:

All of a clene maydyn our Lord was i-born
Us for to savyn that was forlorn;
    So blessed be the tyme.

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