The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

There Came A Shy Intruder

For Christmas

Words and Music: O eguberri gaua, Old Basque Carol

Words Translated by the Rev. J. O'Connor

Source: Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #100, pp. 18-19.

1. There came a sky intruder
To Bethlehem of Juda,
When ewes were but beginning
The early winter yeaning.
Their shepherds were unsleeping,
And thro' the wattles peeping,
1
When glory on them lighted,
And had them sore affrighted
When glory on them lighted,
And had them sore affrighted.

2. The minstrelsy of heaven
Stood out in order even,
And made a famous carol,
How peace is on our quarrel;
How God is the ever-living
Has glory of self-giving,
And men who keep behaviour
Find evermore a Saviour.
And men who keep behaviour
Find evermore a Saviour.

3. With homely comfort laden,
The shepherds sought the maiden
And told the tale of wonder
That she gave us to ponder.
In silence all unbroken
The word of life is spoken
The midnight's ebon kernel
Contains the Light Eternal.
The midnight's ebon kernel
Contains the Light Eternal.

4. The stately orbs of heaven
To song and dance are given;
The fishes in the ocean
Be frolic for devotion.
The idols of the heathen
Be paralysed and beaten;
The poor who sup with sorrow;
Secure of merry tomorrow.
The poor who sup with sorrow;
Secure of merry tomorrow.

Note from Rev. Terry:

1. The barbaric beauty of this phrase is ruined by 'correct' harmonies. I suggest that it be sung in unison, without accompaniment, or (at least) accompanied by stark octaves, thirds and fifths.

Editor's Note:

Rev. Terry provided an illustration of what he meant in this note by an illustration on the first page of the sheet music to this carol. See below (at the bottom of the page).

Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #100, pp. 18-19.

100a-There_Came.jpg (174420 bytes) 100b-There_Came.jpg (122081 bytes)

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