Scripture Verse

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

Introduction

illustration
Mary and Joseph

Words & Mu­sic: Ap­par­ent­ly based on A Vir­gin Most Pure. This ver­sion ap­peared in Christ­mas Ca­rols New and Old, by Hen­ry R. Bram­ley & John Stain­er (Lon­don: No­vel­lo, Ewer, 1871), pag­es 6–7 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Lyrics

A virgin unspotted,
The prophet foretold,
Should bring forth a Savior,
Which now we behold,
To be our Redeemer
From death, hell, and sin,
Which Adam’s transgression
Had wrappèd us in.

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

At Bethlehem city
In Jewry it was
That Joseph and Mary
Together did pass,
All for to be taxèd
With many one moe [sic],
Great Caesar 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 find in the inn there
No lodging at all.

Refrain

Then were they constrained in
A stable to lie,
Where horses and asses
They used for to tie;
Their lodging so simple
They took it no scorn,
But against the next morning
Our Savior was born.

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The King of all kings to
This world being brought,
Small store of fine linen
To wrap Him was sought,
But when she 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.

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Then presently after
The shepherds did spy
Vast numbers of angels
To stand in the sky;
They joyfully talkèd
And sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory,
Our heavenly King.

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To teach us humility
All this was done,
And learn we from thence
Haughty pride for to shun:
A manger His cradle
Who came from above,
The great God of mercy,
Of peace and of love.

Refrain