The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

When Joseph Was A Young Man

Words and Music: Sung by Mr. William Wooton at Hindman, Knott Co., Ky., Sept. 21, 1917
Pentatonic. Mode 3.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Maud Karpeles, ed., English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians Collected by Cecil Sharp, Vol. 1 (London: Oxford University Press / Humphrey Milford, 1932), #15C, pp. 92-3


See generally: The Cherry Tree Carol - Notes

1. When Joseph was a young man,
A young man was he,
He courted Virgin Mary,
The Queen of Galilee,
    He courted Virgin Mary,
    The Queen of Galilee.

2. As Joseph and Mary
Were walking one day,
Here is apples and cherries
Enough to behold.

3. Then Mary spoke to Joseph
So neat (meek?) and so mild:
Joseph, gather me some cherries,
For I am with child.

4. Then Joseph flew in angry,
In angry he flew:
Let the father of the baby
Gather cherries for you.

5. Lord Jesus spoke a few words
All down unto them:
Bow low down, low down, cherry tree,
Let the mother have some.

6. The cherry tree bowed low down,
Low down to the ground,
And Mary gathered cherries
While Joseph stood around.

7. Then Joseph took Mary
All on his right knee.
He cried: O Lord, have mercy
For what have I done.

8. And Joseph took Mary
All on his left knee.
Pray tell me, little baby,
When your birthday will be?

9. On the fifth day of January
My birthday will be,
When the stars and the elements
Doth tremble with fear.

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