The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Gloria Tibi Domine

For Christmas, Epiphany

Words: English Traditional from the Ashmolean Ms. 1393, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Compare: Gloria Tibi, Domine (A Little Child There Is Yborn)
This Night To Us A Child Is Born (Weston)
All This Time This Song Is Best (Rickert)
Contrast: A Little Child There Is Ybore ("Susanni")

Music: Not Stated

Source: E. K. Chambers and F. Sidgwick, eds., Early English Lyrics (London: A. H. Bullen, 1907), #LXX, p. 132.

Gloria tibi domine
Qui natui es de virgine !

A litel childe there is ibore,
Ispronge out of Jesses more,
To save alle us that were forlore. 5
        Gloria tibi domine.

Jhesus that is so fulle of might
Ibore he was aboute midnight ;
The angel songe with alle here might
        Gloria tibi domine.  10

Jhesus is that childes name,
Maide and moder is his dame,
And so oure sorow is turned to game.
        Gloria tibi domine.

Three kinges there came with here presence, 15
Of mirre and golde and frankencense,
As clerkes singe in here sequence
        Gloria tibi domine.

Now sitte we downe upon oure knee,
And pray that child that is so free ; 20
And with gode herte now sing we
        Gloria tibi domine.


4. more, stock.

Notes to LXX, p. 353-354.

Ashm. 1393. Printed E.B.M., ii. 65 (facsimile, i. plate XXVIII). Cf. Balliol 354, printed Anglia, xxvi. 268.

13. game ; so E.B.M. MS. 'grame'.

17. A sequence (sequentia) is, strictly speaking, a nonmetrical text interpolated for musical purposes in the traditional liturgy. Out of precisely such an interpolation grew the Epiphany liturgical play, the Officium Stellae ; cf. Chambers, The Medieval Stage, ii. 8, 45.

Extended Citations

Ashm 1393.
Ashmolean 1393, Bodleian Library, Oxford. Two carols on verso of last leaf, parchment, 5 3/4 x 4. Described in Stainer, ed., Early Bodleian Music, Vol. 1, p. xix. Facsimiles and transcripts also in Early Bodleian Music [No. LXX, and note on XLVL].

Anglia xxvi. 268.
Ewald Flügel, ed., “Liedersammlungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, Besonders Aus Der Zeit Heinrichs VIII” in Eugen Einenkel, ed., Anglia - Zeitschrift Für Engliscie Philologie. Band XXVI. (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1903), p. 268.

EBM, ii. 65.
Sir John Stainer, ed., Early Bodleian Music. Sacred and Secular Songs together with other MS. Compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford : ranging from about a.d. 1185 to about a.d. 1505. With an Introduction by E. W. B. Nicholson, and Transcriptions into Modern Musical Notation by J. F. R. Stainer and C. Stainer. Volume Two of Two volumes (vol. 1, facsimiles, vol. 2, transcriptions), 1901, p. 65. (facsimile, i. plate XXVIII)

Balliol 354.
Balliol 354. Paper, 11 1/2 x 4. Commonplace book of Richard Hill, who describes himself as ‘seruant with Mr. Wyngar, alderman of London.' John Wyngar, grocer, was alderman in 1493, mayor 1504, and died 1505. Richard Hill married in 1518 Margaret, daughter of Harry Wyngar, haberdasher, 'dwellyng in bowe parishe in London,' and the births of his seven children are recorded in the MS. from 1518 to 1526. The MS. is a miscellany of the widest character, English, French, and Latin, poems, romances, fabliaux, extracts from Gower and Sir Thomas More, receipts, legal notes, London customs, etc. Some pieces, signed by Hill, must be in his own hand ; so probably is most of the MS. The latest date in it is 1535, but part must have been written before 1504. Rimbault, 120, refers apparently to the MS. in 1851, (see notes on CXXXI), and said he intended to print it entire. Chappell (1855-59), 50, notes that this MS. had been 'recently found in the library . . . , where it had been accidentally concealed, behind a bookcase, during a great number of years.' Extracts printed by Flugel, W.L., in 1894; and thence by Pollard, 1903 ; also in Flugel, N.L. Edited, almost complete, with full table of contents, by Flugel in Anglia, xxvi, 94, printing 126 items. Source: Notes, p. 307-308.


Editor's Note:

See also

Balliol Ms. 354 is available on-line at Early Manuscripts at Oxford University; see Balliol Ms. 354.

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