The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Cherry Tree Carol

Parts 1 and 2
See: The Cherry Tree Carol - Notes

Joseph Was An Old Man
When Joseph Was a Walking

Words & Tune: Anonymous

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Second Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #28

See: The Cherry Tree Carol - Version 1-1

1. Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he;
He married sweet Mary,
The Queen of Galilee.

2. As they went a walking
In the garden so gay,
Maid Mary spied cherries
Hanging over yon tree.

3. Mary said to Joseph,
With her sweet lips so mild,
"Pluck those cherries, Joseph,
For to give to my Child."

4. "O then," replied Joseph,
With words so unkind,
"I will pluck no cherries,
For to give to thy Child."

5. Mary said to cherry tree,
'"Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries,
By one two and three."

6. The uppermost sprig then
Bowed down to her knee:
"Thus you may see, Joseph,
These cherries are for me."

7. "O eat your cherries, Mary,
O eat your cherries now,
O eat your Cherries, Mary,
That grow upon the bough."

8. As Joseph was a walking
He heard Angels sing,
"This night there shall be born
Our heavenly King.

9. "He neither shall be born
In house nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise)
But in an ox-stall.

10. "He shall not be clothed
In purple nor pall;
But all in fair linen,
As wear babies all.

11. "He shall not be rocked
In silver nor gold,
But in a wooden cradle
That rocks on the mould.

12. "He neither shall be christened
In milk nor in wine,
But in pure spring-well water,
Fresh sprung from Bethine."

13. Mary took her Baby,
She dressed Him so sweet,
She laid Him in a manger
All there for to sleep.

14. As she stood over Him
She heard Angels sing,
"Oh! bless our dear Saviour,
Our heavenly King."

Sheet Music from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1871)

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