Words: George Ratcliffe Woodward
Tune: The Noble Shirbe, an English Melody of the 16th Century
Source: George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book for Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1902, Revised and Expanded Edition 1929), Carol #5
1. Come, listen to my story,
Christus natus hodie:
Born is the King of glory;
Rex de Virgine.
Nowell, Nowell, good news I tell,
God comes on earth a stranger
Lies cradled in a manger.
2. Came angels down, a number,
On the midnight of His birth:
"Ye shepherds, wake from slumber:
Peace, good-will on earth,
And bliss on high," the Angels cry,
"To you is born and given,
Eya! of maid Marie,
Th'Almighty Lord of heaven.
3. Then rode three kings together,
Over desert, hill, and date;
Nought caring from the weather,
Sleet, and snow, and hail.
They came from far, led by a star,
With beams that never vary:
Eya! full fain they are
To see the Babe of Mary.
4. Away then banish sorrow;
Nato Regi psallite:
Sith Christ is born this morrow,
With Angels eke and shepherds meek,
And with yon Eastern Sages,
Eya! let us go seek
The newborn King of ages.
Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward,
The Cowley Carol Book for Christmas, Easter, and Ascensiontide, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd.,
1902, Revised and Expanded
Edition 1929), Carol #5
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Also found in G. R. Woodward, ed., The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide (London: H. Grice, 1897), Carol #26, pp. 34-35. The texts were identical.
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