I Saw Three Ships

Original Text: 
Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern, ed. William Sandys (London: Richard Beckley, 1833), pp. 112-13. PR 1195 C2S2 1973 MUS
2  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
3I saw three ships come sailing in
4  On Christmas day in the morning.
5And what was in those ships all three,
6  On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
7And what was in those ships all three,
8  On Christmas day in the morning?
9Our Saviour Christ and his lady,
10  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
11Our Saviour Christ and his lady,
12  On Christmas day in the morning.
13Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
14  On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
15Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
16  On Christmas day in the morning?
17O they sailed into Bethlehem,
18  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
19O they sailed into Bethlehem,
20  On Christmas day in the morning.
21And all the bells on earth shall ring,
22  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
23And all the bells on earth shall ring,
24  On Christmas day in the morning.
25And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
26  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
27And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing,
28  On Christmas day in the morning.
29And all the Souls on Earth shall sing,
30  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
31And all the Souls on Earth shall sing,
32  On Christmas day in the morning.
33Then let us all rejoice amain,
34  On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
35Then let us all rejoice amain,
36  On Christmas day in the morning.

Notes

1] A history of this carol is in The New Oxford Book of Carols, ed. Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 517. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1666
Publication Notes: 
John Forbes' Cantus, 2nd. edn. (1666).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: