She brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.@Luke 2:7

15th Cen­tu­ry. Found in the Har­lei­an man­u­scripts of the Bri­tish Mu­se­um (num­ber 5396, folio 273b), cir­ca 1456.

Ar­thur H. Brown, in Ca­rols Old and Ca­rols New, by Charles L. Hut­chins (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Par­ish Choir, 1916), num­ber 610 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Arthur H. Brown
(1830–1926)

When Christ was born of Mary free,
In Bethlehem that fair city,
Angels sang there with mirth and glee,

Refrain

In excelsis gloria,
In excelsis gloria,
In excelsis gloria,
In excelsis gloria,
In excelsis gloria.

Herdsmen beheld these angels bright,
To them appearing with great light,
Who said God’s Son is born tonight,

Refrain

The King is come to save mankind,
As in Scripture truths we find,
Therefore this song we have in mind,

Refrain

Then, dear Lord, for Thy great grace
Grant us in bliss to see Thy face,
That we may sing to Thy solace,

Refrain