The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol XIII. Good Tidings of Great Joy


Christ the Lord Was Born Today

For Christmas

Words: Anonymous.

Music: Easter Hymn

Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 64-67.



First Company.

Christ the Lord was born to-day, Hallelujah, 
Rise and sing our festal lay, Hallelujah, 
Rise, and with the cherubim, Hallelujah, 
Sing to God our Christmas hymn, Hallelujah.

Second Company.

Cause more fruitful to employ, Hallelujah, 
Heart and voice on hymn of joy, Hallelujah, 
Than is Christ the Saviour's birth, Hallelujah, 
Never blest the sons of earth. Hallelujah.


As to those by night who stray 
Darkling from their home away, 
Is the morning's day-spring bright, 
Guiding their lost steps aright:


As to seamen tempest-tost, 
Starlight hid and compass lost, 
Is the orient morning breeze, 
Cheerful light and tranquil seas :


As to them whom winter's reign 
Long has bound with polar chain, 
Is with rapture seen and heard 
Vernal bloom and vernal bird :


As to those, who heartless pine, 
Doom'd to labour and the mine, 
Is the fresh'ning gale to feel 
O'er their languid senses steal:


As to him, whom sickness wears, 
Pains by day and nightly fears, 
Is the breath of health that blows 
Heart's delight and sweet repose :


As to them, who long have past 
Fainting through the thirsty waste, 
Far amid the sands appear 
Elim's palms and water clear :


As to those who hard bestead 
Hunger for their daily bread, 
Were the key that should unfold 
India's pearls and Ophir's gold:


As the joy these founts convey, 
Yea, a greater joy than they, 
Greater than from all in one, 
Flows from our salvation's Sun.


Sun of Goodness, Prince of Peace,
Thou, the bondman's sole release, 
Thou, who to the soul dost bring 
Calm for storms, for winter spring;


Thou, who canst a table dress 
In the barren wilderness, 
Author to the poor of wealth, 
To the sick dispensing health :

Both Companies.

Thus to Thee we pour the lay, 
On thy happy natal day : 
Thus to God our Christmas hymn 
Chant we with the cherubim.

Sheet Music from Source: Christmas Carols, or Sacred Songs, Suited to the Festival of our Lord's Nativity (London: John William Parker, 1833), pp. 66-67.

Editor's Note

Also found in A Selection of Carols, Pieces, and Anthems, Suitable for Christmas. (London: W. Kent and Co.; Penzance: F. Rodda, ca. 1872), with the first two verses and the last two verses.

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