The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Cryst was born of Mary fre

For Christmas Eve, For Christmas

Words and Music: Traditional English
(From MS. Harl, No. 5396, fol 4. r0, of the beginning of the sixteenth 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: Thomas Wright, Specimens of old Christmas Carols, Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: The Percy Society, 1841)

This carol requires the installation of the "Junicode" font 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.

When Cryst was born of Mary fre,
In Bedlem in that fayre cyté,
Angellis song ther with myrth and gle,
    in excelsis gloria.

Herdmen beheld thes angellis bryȝt,
To hem apperyd wyth gret lyȝt,
And seyd, 'Goddys sone is born this nyȝt,"
    in excelsis gloria.

Thys keng ys comyn to save kynde,
As yn scripturas we fynde,
Therfore this song we in mynde,
    in excelsis gloria.

Then, Lord, for thy gret grace,
Graunt us the blys to se thy face,
Where we may syng to thy solas,
    in excelsis gloria!

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