The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Betheleem that noble place

For Christmas Eve

Words: Attributed to James Ryman, 1492, in a manuscript now held at Cambridge.

Source: Edward Bliss Reed, ed., Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

This carol requires the installation of the "Old Blacketter" font for best display.

Available in a Middle English font: In Betheleem, That Noble Place

Be we mery in this fe~te

In quo ~aluator natus e~t

In Betheleem that noble place

As by prophe~y ~ayd it was

Of the vyrgyn mary full of grace

Saluator mundi natus e~t

    Be we mery. &c.

 

On chry~tmas nyght an angel it tolde

To the ~hephardes kepying theyr folde

That into Betheleem with be~tes wolde

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be we mery. &c.

The ~hephardes were conpa~~ed ryght

About them was great lyght

Drede ye nought ~ayd the aungell bryght

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be we mery. &c.

Beholde to you we brynge great ioy

For why Je~us is borne this day

To vs of mary that mylde may

Saluator mundi natus e~t

Be mery. &c.

And thus in fayth fynde it ye ~hall

Lyenge porely in an oxe ~tall

The ~hephardes than lauded god all

Quia ~aluator mundi natus e~t.

Be mery. &c.

                    Finis.

Editor's Note:

This is one of the carols that were first printed by Richard Kele, Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (circa 1550), reprinted in Philip Bliss, Biographical Miscellanies (1813), and included in Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols of the 16th Century, Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

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