Scripture Verse

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son. Isaiah 7:14

Introduction

Words & Mu­sic: Tra­di­tion­al (🔊 pdf nwc). This hymn ap­peared in Some An­cient Christ­mas Ca­rols, by Da­vies Gil­bert, 1822. A print­ed ver­sion from 1734 al­so ex­ists. The eighth stan­za is from Christ­mas Ca­rols, An­cient and Mo­dern, by Will­iam San­dys (Lon­don: Ri­chard Beck­ley, 1833).

Lyrics

A virgin most pure,
As the prophets do tell,
Hath brought forth a baby,
As it hath befell,
To be our Redeemer
From death, hell and sin,
Which Adam’s transgression
Has wrappèd us in.

Refrain

And therefore be merry,
Set sorrow aside;
Christ Jesus our Savior
Was born on this tide.

At Bethlehem city,
In Jewry it was
Where Joseph and Mary
Together did pass,
And there to be taxèd,
With many one more,
For Cæsar commanded
The same should be so.

Refrain

But, when they had entered
The city so fair
A number of people
So mighty was there,
That Joseph and Mary,
Whose substance was small,
Could get in the city
No lodging at all.

Refrain

Then were they constrained
In a stable to lie,
Where oxen and asses
They used to tie;
Their lodging so simple,
They held it no scorn,
But against the next morning
Our Savior was born.

Refrain

The King of all glory
To this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen
To wrap Him was sought,
When Mary had swaddled
Her young Son so sweet,
Within an ox manger
She laid Him to sleep.

Refrain

Then God sent an angel
From Heaven so high,
To certain poor shepherds
In fields where they lie,
And bade them no longer
In sorrow to stay,
Because that our Savior
Was born on this day.

Refrain

Then presently after,
The shepherds did spy
A number of angels
Appear in the sky;
Who joyfully talkèd
And sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory,
Our heavenly king.

Refrain

Three certain wise princes,
They thought it most meet
To lay their rich offerings
At our Savior’s feet;
Then the Shepherds consented,
And to Bethlehem did go,
And when they came thither,
They found it was so.

Refrain