The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Far away

Words: William Morris

Music: Rev. John B. Dykes

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, Second Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1871), Carol #40

1. From far away we come to you,
   The snow in the street, and the wind on the door,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

2. For as we wandered far and wide,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
What hap do you deem there should us betide ?
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

3. Under a bent when tho night was deep,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
There lay three shepherds tending their sheep,
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

4. "O ye shepherds, what have ye seen,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
To slay your sorrow and heal your teen ?"
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

5. "In an ox stall this night we saw,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
A Babe and a Maid without a flaw,
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

6. There was an old man there beside;
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
His hair was white, and his hood was wide,
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

7. And as we gazed this thing upon,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
Those twain knelt down to the little One,
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

8. And a marvellous song we straight did hear,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
That slew our sorrow and healed our care,"
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

9. News of a fair and a marvellous thing,
The snow in the street and the wind on the door,
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, we sing!
   Minstrels and maids stand forth on the floor,
    Stand forth on the floor.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true,
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

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

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Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 52
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

From_Far_Away_52.gif (330843 bytes)

In the version printed in Hutchins, the first italicized line is changed to read:

The snow under foot and the moon in the sky.

The second two italicized lines are changed to read:

Christian men all, salvation is nigh!
Salvation is nigh.

Verses 2 and 6 are omitted, and verse 3 is replaced with:

2. Out on a field where the night was deep,
  The snow under foot and the moon in the sky.
There lay three shepherds tending their sheep,
   Christian men all, salvation is nigh!
  Salvation is nigh.
From far away we come to you,
To tell of great tidings strange and true.

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