Be Merry, Be Merry
Words and melody
from a parchment roll in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge.
(Date, Fifteenth Century.)
See: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230)
Compare: Be Merry, From Rickert, and including sheet music from J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Carols of the Fifteenth Century.
Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #191, p. 40.
Be merry, be merry, be merry I pray you everyone.
1. A principal point
It is, it is merry to be
(I wis) in Him that is but One,
2. For He that is
but One in bliss,
To us hath sent His son I wis,
To save us from our foes.
3. For of a maid a
Child was born,
To save mankind that was forlorn,
Man think thou thereupon1
4. Now Mary for thy
Save (thou) them all that mirthè make,
And longest holdè on.
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #191, p. 40.
Footnote by Rev. Terry:
1. The MS. Reads 'man think ther on', four syllables instead of six. To fit the line to the music I have altered it as above. [see sheet music. Ed.]
Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #25, p. 48.
Another collection containing carols from a roll in the Library of Trinity College is J. A. Fuller Maitland, ed., English Carols of the Fifteenth Century From A MS Roll in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. (London: The Leadenhall Press, et al., 1891). With added vocal parts by W. S. Rockstro.
Illustration from Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700: