The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Remember, O Thou Man

Version 3
Compare: Remember, O Thou Man - Version 1 (Sandys, 1833)

Remember, O Thou Man - Version 2 (Shaw and Dearmer, 1913)
Remember, O Thou Man - Version 4 (Bullen, 1885)
 Remember, Life Is Short (Chope, 1894)

 

Words: Ravenscroft's Melismata, Musical Phansies, &c., 1611

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), pp. 195-7.

1. Remember, O thou man,
O thou man, O thou man!
    Remember, O thou man!
Thy time is spent;
Remember, O thou man, how thou art dead and gone,
And I did what I can, therefore repent;
Remember Adam's fall,
    O thou man, O thou man!

2. Remember Adam's fall,
From heaven to hell;
Remember Adam's fall,
How we were condemned all,
In hell perpetual
Therefore to dwell,
Remember God's goodness,
    O thou man, O thou man!

3. Remember God's goodness,
And His promise made,
Remember God's goodness,
How He sent His Son doubtless,
Our sins for to redress,
    Be not afraid.

4. The angels all did sing,
O thou man, O thou man!
The angels all did sing,
Upon the shepherds' hill.
The angels all did sing,
Praises to our heavenly king,
And peace to man living,
    With a good will.

5. The shepherds amazed was,
O thou man, O thou man!
The shepherds amazed was,
To hear the angels sing;
The shepherds amazed was,
How it should come to pass,
That Christ our Messias,
    Should be our King.

6. To Bethlehem did they go,
O thou man, O thou man!
To Bethlehem did they go,
The shepherds three;
To Bethlehem did they go,
To see whe'er it were so or no,
Whether Christ were born or no,
    To set man free.

7. As the angels before did say,
O thou man, O thou man!
As the angels before did say,
So it came to pass;
As the angels before did say,
They found a babe where it lay,
In a manger wrapped in hay,
    So poor he was.

8. In Bethlehem he was born,
O thou man, O thou man!
In Bethlehem he was born,
For mankind's sake.
In Bethlehem he was born,
For us that were forlorn,
And therefore took no scorn,
    Our flesh to take.

9. Give thanks to God always,
O thou man, O thou man!
Give thanks to God always,
With heart most joyfully;
Give thanks to God always,
For this our happy day;
Let all men sing and say,
    Holy holy.

Note from Rickert: A didactic religious poem, included by John Wedderburn in his Compendious Buik, seems to be a parody of this, which is therefore probably older than 1567.

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