The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Out Of The Orient, Crystal Skies

Words: English Traditional, About 1613
MS. Additional 29,401, fol. 51b, 52.

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 57-8.

1. Out of the orient, crystal skies
    A blazing star did shine,
Showing the place where poorly lies
    A blessed Babe divine.

2. Born of a maid of royal blood
    Who Mary hight by name,
A sacred rose which once did bud
    By grace of heavenly flame.

3. This shining star three kings did guide
    Even from the furthest East,
To Bethlehem where it betide
    This blessed Babe did rest,

4. Laid in a silly manger poor,
    Betwixt an ox and ass,
Whom these three kings did all adore
    As God's high pleasure was.

5. And for the joy of His great birth
    A thousand angels sing:
"Glory and peace unto the earth
    Where born is this new King!"

6. The shepherds dwelling thee about,
    Where they this news did know,
Came singing all even in a rout,
    "Falantidingdido, falantidingdido, falantidingdido!"1


1. Rickert notes at page 151: I have not found this refrain elsewhere, nor is it in the New English Dictionary. Notwithstanding the apparent suggestion of the word tiding, it seems to be mere nonsense; and from the rhythm I incline to think that it was accented Falántidíngdidó. Return

An Additional Note from Rickert at page 151: "This unpublished carol, written evidently not long before 1613 belongs still to the old tradition, but lacks the ingenuousness of the earlier lyrics."

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