Monday, November 19, 2012

The First Nowell

Published in William Sandys, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), p. 74

Also found in William Sandys, Christmas-tide, It's History, Festivities and Carols, With Their Music (London: John Russell Smith, 1852), pp. 261-2.

1. The first Nowell the Angel did say
Was to three poor Shepherds in fields as they lay.
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
In a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

          Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell.
          Born is the King of Israel.

2. They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued, both day and night. Chorus

3. And by the light of that same Star
Three Wise Men came from country far,
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the Star wherever it went. Chorus

4. This Star drew nigh to the North West;
O'er Bethlehem it took it's rest.
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right4 over the place where Jesus lay. Chorus

5. Then did they know assuredly
Within that house, the King did lie
One entered in then for to see
And found the babe in poverty. Chorus

6. Then enter'd in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offer'd there, in his presence,
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. Chorus

7. Between an ox stall and an ass,
This Child truly there born he was;
For want of clothing they did him lay
All in a manger, among the hay. Chorus

8. Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind hath bought. Chorus

9. If we in our time shall do well
We shall be free from death and Hell
For God hath prepared for us all
A resting place in general. Chorus