The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Cryst Was Born of Mary Fre

For Christmas Eve, For Christmas

Sandys' Title is:


Words: Middle English carol from the Harleian Manuscript, Fifteenth Century

There are numerous variations of this carol.
See Notes under When Christ Was Born of Mary Free (Bramley and Stainer, with sheet music)

Source: William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), pp. 2-3.

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" fond for best display. You can obtain a copy of this font from Old English at the University of Virginia, or right click here, and then select "Save File As" to save a copy of the zipped file to your computer. See notes in F A Q.

1. When Cryst was born of Mary fre
In bedlem, ī t fayre cyte,
Angellis songen wt mirth and gle,
                            in excelsis gƚia.

2. herdm beheld s angellis bryzt
To hem apperyd wt gret lyzt,
and seyd goddis sone is born s nyzt,
                            in excelsis gƚia

3. s kyng ys comyn to save kynde
... in scriptur as we fynde,
... fore s song haue we ī mynde,
                            in excelsis gƚia.

4. ... lord for y gret grace,
... is in blys to see y face,
Where we may syng to e solas,
                            in excelsis gƚia.

Sandys' Note:

From the same MS (Harl. MS 5396. (temp. Hen. VI.). The commencement of some of the lines is not legible.

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