The Hymns and Carols of Christmas


Words: Joseph Simpson Cook (1859-1933), 1919

Music: A Spring Carol, "Tempus Adest Floridum," from Piae Cantiones, 1582
Arr. Ernest MacMillan
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Editor's Note: To my ear, there are 'clinkers' in the 7th and 13th measures. However, the transcription is true to the original.

1. Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled,
To the world a Stranger:
Such a Babe in such a place,
Can He be the Savior?
Ask the saved of all the race
Who have found His favor.

2. Angels sang about His birth;
Wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven's star shone brightly forth,
Glory all around Him:
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight,
Heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night,
All the hills were ringing.

3. Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled,
But no more a stranger:
Son of God, of humble birth,
Beautiful the story;
Praise His Name in all the earth,
Hail the King of glory!


The tune, Tempus Adest Floridum, is more commonly associated with the carol Good King Wenceslas. Another musical setting can be found in Roy Ringwald's Book Of American Carols (2004).

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