The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Good Day Sir Christemas

For Christmas

Words and melody from the Selden MS. (Selden MS. B.26.f.8), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Mode VIII.

Source: Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #20, p. 39.

Good day, good day, good day
My lord Sir Cristemas, good day !

1. Good day Sir Cristemas our King, 
For ev'ry man bothe olde and young 
Is glad and blithe of Your coming. 
                Good day, good day, good day.

2. (For) Goddès son so much of might,1 
Fram heven to earth is down alight, 
And born is of a maid so bright. 
                Good day.

3. Heavèn and earth, and also hell, 
And all that ever in them dwell, 
Of Your coming they full snell.2 
                Good day.

4. Of Your coming, this, clerkès find, 
Ye come to save allè mankind,3 
And from their balès them unbind.4 
                Good day.

5. All manner of mirth we will make, 
And solace to our heart (will) take, 
My seemly Lord, for Your-è sake. 
                Good day.

Notes from Rev. Terry:

1. Much of might = great in might. Return.

2. Full snell = all astir. Return.

3. Allè = all. Return.

4. Balès = evils. Return.

The Selden Manuscript was one of the sources for A Medieval Carol Book by Rev. Terry. Scans of the manuscript pages are on-line at the Bodleian Library; see Selden MS B26 (opens in a new window at an exterior site).

Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #20, p. 39.

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Editor's Note.

There are two other versions of this carol on this website, who cite as their source the Selden Manuscript, including:

The record at the Digital Index of Middle English Verse contains additional sources:  Good Day, Sir Christmas, DIMEV 1643

Versions of the similar carol, "I Am Here, Sir Christmas," cite as their source Ritson's MS (Addl. MS. 5665) in the British Library, including:

The record at the Digital Index of Middle English Verse contains additional sources: I Am Here, Sir Christmas, DIMEV 1128.

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