The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

The Ten Joys Of Mary

Words and Music: English Traditional

 

Source: Cecil J. Sharp, English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., Ltd., 1911), pp. 33-5.

1. The first great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of one,
To see her own Son Jesus
To suck at her breast bone
To suck at her breast bone, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

2. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of two,
To see her own Son Jesus
To bring the lame to go
To bring the lame to go, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

3. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of three,
To see her own Son Jesus
To bring the blind to see;
To bring the blind to see, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

4. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of four,
To see her own Son Jesus
To read the Bible o’er
To read the Bible o’er, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

5. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of five,
To see her own Son Jesus
To bring the dead to life;
To bring the dead to life, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

6. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of six,
To see her own Son Jesus
To bear the crucifix
To bear the crucifix, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

7. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of seven,
To see her own Son Jesus
To wear the crown of Heaven
To wear the crown of Heaven, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

8. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of eight,
To see her own Son Jesus
To bring the crooked straight;
To bring the crooked straight, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

9. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of nine,
To see her own Son Jesus
Turn water into wine
Turn water into wine, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

10. The next great joy that Mary had,
It was the joy of ten,
To see her own Son Jesus
Bring up ten gentlemen;
Bring up ten gentlemen, good man,
    How happy may you be;
    O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
    And Christ to eternity.

Sheet Music From Sharp
MIDI / NWC / PDF

Sheet Music from Cecil Sharp, Folk Songs from Somerset. Fifth Series. (London: Simpkin & Co.,
LTD., 1909), #CXXV, pp. 65-67.

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Notes from Sharp:

Sung by Mrs. Jane Duddridge at Mark, Somerset.

This carol has already been printed in Folk-Songs from Somerset (No. 125). [Cecil Sharp, Folk Songs from Somerset. Fifth Series. (London: Simpkin & Co., LTD., 1909), #CXXV, pp. 65-67, above.]

The words given in the text are those which Mrs. Duddridge sang to me. She learned them from her grandfather. Of several variants that I have collected all, with one exception, conclude with the seventh Joy. One version, however, noted in Gloucestershire, gives twelve Joys, the fourth lines of the last two stanzas running “To have the keys of heaven” and “ To have the keys of hell.”

The “ten gentlemen” in the Somerset variant may possibly refer to the cleansing of the ten lepers. The Gloucestershire singer sang “ To write with a golden pen,” which is probably a fanciful rendering invented for the sake of the rhyme.

Sandys prints two versions of the words, the first of which, “Joyis five,” is from the Sloane MS. The scheme of this is similar to that of the Somerset carol but the wording is different. The other is almost identical with the first stanzas of Mrs. Duddridge’s version.

The carol with a traditional air is in Bramley and Stainer’s collection. The words are on broadsides by Evans and Thompson.

There are numerous carols enumerating the joys of Mary (including five, seven, and 12), including.

  1. Off The 5 Joyes Of Owr Lady (Wright, 1847)

  2. The Ferst Joye As I Zu Telle ("Joyes Fyve") (Sandys, 1833)

  3. The Ferste Joye, As I 3ou Telle (Wright, 1856)
  4. The First Good Joy Our Mary Had (Sandys) (a.k.a. Joyes Seven; in total, 12 Joys - 7 from Sandys, 5 from Husk) (with sheet music and notes)

  5. The Five Joys (Rickert)

  6. The Five Joys of the Virgin (Wright, 1845) [this page]

  7. The Seven Joys of Mary - Version 1 (Bramley & Stainer) (with sheet music)

  8. The Seven Joys Of Mary - Version 2 (Shaw and Dearmer) (with sheet music)

  9. The Seven Joys of Mary - RR Terry (with sheet music)

  10. The Seven Joys Of Mary (John Jacob Niles) (with note)

  11. The Seven Rejoices Of Mary (RR Terry)

  12. The Ten Joys Of Christmas (Sharp) (with sheet music and note)

This is one of many "counting" songs among the hymns and carols of Christmas. See the notes to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

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