The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Fyrst Day Wan Crist Was Borne

Words and Music: Traditional English from Eng. Poet. e. 1
Also found in MS. Balliol 354.

Compare: Nowel, el, el, el, el (Chambers & Sidgwick; First Line: The first day whan Crist was borne), with notes
The First Day When Christ Was Born (Rickert)

Source: Thomas Wright, Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (London: The Percy Society, 1847), Song #37, p. 42, printed verbatim from a manuscript probably owned by a professional musician, and apparently written in the latter half of the fifteenth century, circa 1471-1485.

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See notes in
F A Q

Nowel, el el el el, I thank it a maydyn every del.

The fyrst day wan Crist was borne,
Ther sprong a ros owt of a thorne,
To save mankynd that was for-lorne,
            I thanke it a maydyn every dyll.

In an oxstall the chyld was fownd,
In por clothyng the chyld was wond;
He soferyd many a dedly wond;
            I thanke it a maydyn every dyll.

A garlond of thornys on his hed was sett,
A scharp sper to hys hart was smet;
The Jewys seydyn, Take the that!
            I thanke it a maydyn every dyll.

The Juwys dedyn cryyn her parlament;
On the day of judgment,
They werryn aferd, thei huld hem schent.
            I thanke it a maydyn every dyll.

Tho the peler he was bowdyn;
Tho his hart a sper was stunggyn;
For us he sofered a dedly wondyn.
            I thanke it a maydyn every dyll.

Editor's Note:

The same burden occurs in a different carol, Vpon A Lady Fayre & Bright.

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