The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Proface

Words: Temp. Henry VII or VIII

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 217-8.

Compare: Proface, Welcom, Well Come - William Sandys, 1833
Profate, welcome, wellecome! - Thomas Wright

1. Proface,1 welcome, welcome!
This time is born a Child of grace,
That for us mankind2 hath take.
            Proface.

2. A king's son and an emperour
Is come out of a maiden's tower,
With us to dwell with great honour.
            Proface.

3. This holy time of Christėmas,
All sorrow and sin we should release,
And cast away all heaviness.
            Proface.

4. The good lord of this place entire,
Saith welcome to all that now appear,
Unto such fare as ye find here.
            Proface.

5. Welcome be this new year!
And look ye all be of good cheer.
Our Lord God be us ever near!3
            Proface.

Notes:

1. Much good may it do you! Return

2. Man's nature. Return

3. Text: at our dewre = need.  Return

Editor's Note:

The Webster's Online Dictionary gives the following: "Etymology: Proface \Pro"face\, interj. [Old French expression prou face, prou fasse; prou profit faire to make, do.]." One tune that is used for this carol is Gustav Holst's "Welcome Song." Thanks to Frank DeWald, choir director at Okemos High School, for the information concerning the Holst composition.

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