The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Adam And His Helpmate

For Christmas

Words: Adam e sa coumpagno by Micolau Saboly

English Translation by K. W. Simpson

Music: A Provençal Noël.

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #89, pp. 24-25.

1. Within a lovely garden
Dwelt Adam long ago.
Ere sin his heart did harden
And work his over throw.
His helpmate was beside him,
And there (till Satan spied him)
No joy was e'er denied him,
And naught he knew of woe.

2. To Adam's helpmate, lovely,
Did Satan whisp'ring turn:
'Come now, it doth behove thee
All Godlike things to learn!'
With eyes that shone and dancëd,
And eager hand advancëd,
She lent an ear entrancëd--
(Cupidity did burn!)

3. Then, to her husband turning,
The Apple in her hand,
She says in accents burning: –
'You too, at my command,
Will eat this fruit before thee,
And see unfold the glory;
And feel the magic o'er thee –
Will eat – and understand!'

4. Then Adam did her bidding,
And ate, and understood!
His darkened soul o'er-riding
Came sorrow, in a flood.
From out the heavens proclaimëd,
A mighty Voice exclaimëd,
T'was God whose wrath pursued!

5. 'Tis thus for him we suffer,
This day, by Satan bound!
But Jesus came to proffer
His life to heal our wound –
Our chains He strikes asunder,
And free we rise, in wonder,
His love for us to ponder,
In happiness profound!

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #89, pp. 24-25.

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Footnote from Rev. Terry:

Like most other popular French melodies, this one is found with different words (and melodic variants) in different provinces. It is familiar in England as set to Neale's words “A Day, A Day of Glory.” I give it here with the Provencal words with which it is associated in Saboly's Recueil des Noëls. The version of the tune here given is the one quoted by Rouher as set to Nous voici dans la ville. I prefer it to the Provençal variant, as it has a more graceful melodic contour.

Editor's Note:

The text below is from Micolau Saboly, Recueil de noëls provençaux (Avignon: L. Aubanel, 1839), “Adam et sa coumpagne,” pp. 71-73, Sur l'Air: “Amants, quittez vos chaines.” [three jpg files available].

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