For Christmas Eve
Vom Himmel hoch da komm
ich her, by Martin
From Joseph Klug's Gesangsbuch, 1535
Notes and Translations: Notes for Vom Himmel Hoch Da Komm Ich Her
Text based on Luke 2: 1-18
Song of the Birth of Christ
Followis ane Sang of the birth of Christ, with the Tune of Baw lulalaw
(The tune was not included in the text)
Music: "Baw Lulalaw", traditional Scottish song
Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833)
1. I come from heuin to tell
The best nowellis that euer be fell,
To yow thir tythinges trew I bring,
And I will of them say and sing.
2. This day to yow is borne ane childe,
Of Marie meike and Virgine mylde;
That blissit barne, bining and kynde,
Sall yow rejoyce baith heart and mynd.
3. It is the Lord Christ, God and man,
He will doe for you quhat hee can;
Himselfe your Sauiour hee will bee,
Fra sinne and hell to make zow free.
4. Hee is our richt saluation
From euerlasting damnation,
That ze may ring in glorir and blis,
For euer mair in heuin with his.
5. Ze sall him find but marke or wring,
Full sempill in ane cribe lying;
So lyis hee quhilk zow hes wrocht,
And all this warld made of nocht.
6. Let vs rejoyce and bee blyth,
And with the hyrdes goe full swyth,
And see quhat God of his grace hes don
Throw Christ to bring vs to his throne.
7. My saull and lyfe, stand vp and see
Quha lyes in ane cribe of tree;
Quhat babe is that so gude and faire
It is Christ, Gods Sonne and Aire.
8. Welcum now, gracious God of mycht,
To sinners vyle, pure and vnricht;
Thou come to saue vs from distresse,
How can wee thank thy gentilnesse?
9. O God that made all creature,
How art thow becum so pure,
That on the hay and stray will lye,
Amang the asses, oxin and kye?
10. And were the warld ten tymes so wide,
Cled ouer with gold and stanes of pride,
Unworthy zit it were to thee,
Under thy feit ane stule to bee.
11. The sylke and sandell, thee to eis,
Are hay and sempill sweiling clais,
Quhairin thow gloiris, greitest King,
As thow in heuin were in thy ring.
12. Thow tuke like paines temporall,
To make me riche perpetuall:
For all this warldis welth and gude,
Can nothing richt thy celsitude.
13. O my deir hert, zoung Jesus sweit,
Prepare thy creddill in my spreit,
And I sall rocke thee in my hert,
And neuer mair from thee depart.
14. But I sall praise thee euermoir,
With sangs sweit vnto thy gloir;
The knees of my hert sall I bow,
And sing that richt Balulalow.
15. Gloir bee to God eternally,
Quhilk gaif his only Sonne for mee,
The angels joyes for to heir,
The gratious gift of this new zeir.
From "Ane Compendiovs Booke of Godly and Spiritvall Songs, collectit, &c. for avoyding of Sinne and Harlotrie," reprinted in Scotish Poems of the Sixteenth Century. Edinburgh, 1801, vol. i. pp. 47-49.
It was noted that the edition of Ane Compendiovs Booke was augmented with "Sundrie Gude and Godly Ballates, not contained in the first edition." It was "Newlie corrected and amended by the first Originall Copie." The editor was Sir John Graham Dalyell.
I Come From Heuin To Tell - 1567, From A Compendious Book of Godly and Spiritual Songs, Commonly Known as 'The Gude and godlie Ballatis,' Reprinted from the Edition of 1567 (Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1897), pp. 49-51.
I Come From Heuin To Tell - 1578, From A Compendious Book of Psalms and Spiritual Songs, Commonly Known as “The Gude and Godlie Ballates.” (Edinburgh: Reprinted from the Edition of 1578, M.DCCC.LXVIII ), pp. 43-45.