Alternate Title: "An Heavenly Song."
Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), Page #172
Music: This Day, Dianna
Robin Dennis,1 Copyright 2005
All Rights Reserved
Reproduced With Permission
An heavenly song, I dare well say,
Is sung on earth to man this day.
1. This is the song that ye shall hear,
God is come from His empire,
And is made man with high desire,
2. He took our kind all of a maid,
By ox and ass He was y-laid.
Now is fulfilled that Scripture said,
3. Ay I wonder this in my mind,
That He that all may loose and bind,
Would be laid by beasts unkind,
4. He is a lord and by nature
A maiden's breast He sucked full pure.
Heaven and earth be in His cure,2
1. Dianna Robin Dennis, an Irish author and composer, wrote that the music which she composed is "really more an anthem than a carol per se (three part trebles plus solo)." Return
2. Rev. Terry, in a Medieval Carol Book, has: "Heavèn and earth are in His cure ". Return.
Sheet Music from Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #173, pp. 4-5.
Sheet Music from Sir Richard Runciman Terry, A Medieval Carol Book: The Melodies Chiefly from MMS. in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1932), Carol #2, pp. 4-5.
Also found in Richard Runciman Terry, Two Hundred Folk Carols (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1933), Carol #173, pp. 4-5. Third verse from Terry:
I wonder aye this in my mind;
That He who all may loose and bind
Would be laid by beastès unkind,
Notes from Rev. Terry:
Took our kind: took our humanity
Unkind: of a different species
Rev. Terry also notes that the words and melody are from the Selden MS. (Selden MS. B.26 f. 23v.), Bodleian Library, Oxford. Mode II.
The Selden Manuscript was one of the sources for A Medieval Carol Book by Rev. Terry. Scans of the manuscript pages are on-line at the Bodleian Library; see Selden MS B26 (opens in a new window at an exterior site).