The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Good Men All Of Chastres

Words: Unknown

Arpajon Carol, 16th Century
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer

Source: Carol #735, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

1. The good men all of Chastres,
And of Mont-le-Hery,
Are full of joy this glad day
As joyous all should be;
For Jesus Christ is born,
The day of days is dawning;
With ox and ass in stable mean
The King of kings on earth is seen,
On this first Christmas morning.

2. The angels all are singing
Of His most wondrous birth,
The vault of heaven is ringing
With holy songs of mirth;
For while the shepherds guard
Their flocks from ev'ry danger,
Angelic hymns do sweetly tell
To all who on the earth do dwell
The Babe lies in a manger.

3. Their flocks they soon are leaving,
To find the Babe so meek,
In simple faith, believing,
St. Clement straight they seek;
They fain would dance for joy,
And cast away all sadness,
As on their pipes they sweetly play;
For now the everlasting day
Hath filled the world with gladness.

4. The men of St. Germain,
When they the news did hear,
That Christ has come to reign,
Unto the town drew near;
Loud Noels fill the air.
Away with tears and sighing!
For all things old have passed away,
Now breaks the long-expected day,
And death itself is dying.

5. The good men all of Boissy
Did from their dreams awake,
And sailors from Bretigny
Their presents too did take;
Best offerings from the sea,
As fishermen they bring Him,
They see the tender, holy Child,
And Joseph and the Mother mild,
On bended knees beside Him.

6. The rev'rend Vicar Guyot
Of wine the best doth bring,
While all his youthful scholars
Their simplest notes do sing;
A song, though week and poor,
Will open wide heaven's portals;
"Ut, re, mi, fa, sol la, la la,
Ut, re, mi, fa, sol la, la la,"
Will blessings bring on mortals.

7. Now joy to Holy Mary,
And God's all-blessed Son
Who left the realms of heaven
Our earthly course to run;
It never can grow old,
This faithful shepherds' story;
Then sing we all with hearts of joy
The Noel which can never cloy,
"O Christ, to Thee be glory."


The village of Chastrès is located at 20 km in the south of Charleroi, near the town of Walcourt in the south of Belgium near the French border. Mont-le-Hery is also found as Montlehery, and is located in the Oise region of France, north of Paris.  The medieval village of Arpajon is situated near the Route Nationale 20, 30 km south of Paris (towards Étampes, Orléans), 15 km north of Étampes.

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Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

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