The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Whan that my swete sone

For Christmas

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Middle English; retyped in "Old Blacketter:" Whan that my swete sone

Source: Edward Bliss Reed, ed., Christmas Carols Printed in the 16th Century Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

O My hert is wo
Mary dyde say so
For to se my dere sone dye
Seyng I haue no mo

Whan that my swete sone
Was .xxx. wynter olde
Than the traytour Judas
He became wonders bolde
For .xxx. plates of money
His mayster had he solde
But whan I wyst of that
Lorde my herte was colde
    O my heart is wo

On shere thursday
Truely than thus it was
On my sones dethe
That Judas dyd compas
Many were the Jewes
That folowed hym by trace
And before them all
He kyssed my sones face
    O my heart is wo

My sone before Pylate
Then brought was he
And Peter sayd .iii. tymes
He knewe hymn nat parde
Pylate sayd to the Jewes
Now what say ye:
They cryed all with one voyce
Crucifige Crucifige.
    O my heart is wo

On good fryday
At the mount of Caluary
My sone was on the crosse
And nayled with nayles thre
Of all the frendes that he had
Neuer one coud he se
But gentyll Johan the euangelyst
That styll dyde stand hym by
    O my heart is wo

Though I sorowfull were
No man haue no wonder
For how it was the erth quaked
And horryble was the thonder
I loked vpon my swete sone
The cros that he stode vunder
Lungeus came with a long spere
And claue his hert asonder
    O my heart is wo

                                        Finis.

Editor's Note:

This is one of the carols that were first printed by Richard Kele, Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (circa 1550), reprinted in Philip Bliss, Biographical Miscellanies (1813), and included in Edward Bliss Reed, Christmas Carols of the 16th Century, Including Kele's Christmas Carolles Newly Inprynted (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

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