Lyrics

1. 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 had wrapped us in.

Refrain
Aye, and therefore be you merry,
Rejoice and be merry,
Set sorrow aside;
Christ Jesus our Savior was born on this tide.

2. At Bethlehem city in Jewry a City there was
Where Joseph and Mary together did pass,
And there to be taxed, with many one more,
For Cæsar commanded the same should be so. Refrain

3. 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 Inn there no lodging at all. Refrain

4. Then were they constrained in a stable to lye,
Where horses and asses they us’d for to tie;
Their lodging so simple they held it no scorn,
But against the next morning our Saviour was born. Refrain

5. The King of all kings to this world being brought,
Small store of fine linen to wrap him was sought,
And when she had swaddled her young son so sweet,
Within an ox manger she laid him to sleep. Refrain

6. Then God sent an Angel from Heaven so high,
To certain poor Shepherds in fields where they lye,
And bade9 them no longer in sorrow to stay,
Because that our Saviour was born on this day. Refrain

7. Then presently after the Shepherds did spy
A number of Angels that stood in the sky;
Who joyfully talked and sweetly did sing,
To God be all glory our Heavenly King. Refrain

This tune has unexpected melodic changes with the sometimes-lowered 7th. Idea: have the students figure out how many times they hear the melody of the first phrase (first 4 measures) repeated. The phrases are in this form: AABACBA (The last three letters are the refrain.) So, section is sung a total of 4 times.

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