God Rest you Merry, Gentlemen

Original Text: 
Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern, ed. William Sandys (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), pp. 102-103. PR 1195 C2S2 1973 MUS
2   Let nothing you dismay,
3For Jesus Christ our Saviour
4   Was born upon this day,
5To save us all from Satan's power
6   When we were gone astray.
7      O tidings of comfort and joy,
8      For Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
10   This blessed babe was born,
11And laid within a manger
12   Upon this blessed morn;
13The which his mother Mary
14   Nothing did take in scorn.
15      O tidings of comfort and joy,
16      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
17From God our Heavenly Father
18   A blessed Angel came,
19And unto certain Shepherds
20   Brought tidings of the same,
21How that in Bethlehem was born
22   The Son of God by name.
23      O tidings of comfort and joy,
24      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
25Fear not, then said the Angel,
26   Let nothing you affright,
27This day is born a Saviour
28   Of virtue, power and might;
29So frequently to vanquish all
30   The friends of Satan quite.
31      O tidings of comfort and joy,
32      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
33The Shepherds at those tidings
34   Rejoiced much in mind,
35And left their flocks a feeding
36   In tempest, storm and wind,
37And went to Bethlehem straightway,
38   This blessed babe to find.
39      O tidings of comfort and joy,
40      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
41But when to Bethlehem they came,
42   Whereas this infant lay,
43They found him in a manger
44   Where oxen feed on hay,
45His mother Mary kneeling
46   Unto the Lord did pray.
47      O tidings of comfort and joy,
48      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.
49Now to the Lord sing praises,
50   All you within this place,
51And with true love and brotherhood
52   Each other now embrace;
53This holy tide of Christmas
54   All others doth deface.
55      O tidings of comfort and joy,
56      Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day.

Notes

1] For the traditional English melody, see The Cambridge Hymnal, edited by David Holbrook and Elizabeth Poston (Cambridge, Eng.: University Press, 1967), pp. 236-37. The account of the visit of the shepherds to the Christ child is found in Luke 2.8-20. The history of this carol is in The New Oxford Book of Carols, ed. Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 527. Back to Line
9] Jury: Jewry, the land of the Israelites. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1833
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: