Scripture Verse

I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10–11


John M. Neale (1818–1866)


Words: From an 11th Cen­tu­ry ma­nu­script (Con­gau­de­at tur­ba fi­de­li­um). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale (1818–1866).

Music: Har­mo­ny by George H. Pal­mer from a Hy­po-Do­ri­an Mode me­lo­dy in The Cow­ley ca­rol Book (1901–10) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Pal­mer or Sheb­beare (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


From church to church the bells’ glad tid­ings run:
A vir­gin hath con­ceived, and borne a Son
In Beth­le­hem.

And an­gel hosts, the mid­night of His birth,
Sang Glory be to God, and peace on earth,
In Beth­le­hem.

Now go we forth, and see this won­drous thing,
The shep­herds said, and seek the new­born King
In Beth­le­hem.

Then He­rod sought the roy­al Son to slay,
Who ra­ther should have to come to kneel and pray
In Beth­le­hem.

The star went lead­ing on from east to west:
The wise men fol­lowed, till they saw it rest
In Beth­le­hem.

Their frank­in­cense and myrrh, and gold they bring,
To hail the God, the Mor­tal, and the King
In Beth­le­hem.

With three­fold gifts the Three­fold God three praise,
Who thus vouch­safed the sons of man raise,
In Bethlehem.