Saturday, September 02, 2023

The first Noel

97 The First Noel. Irregular with Refrain

1 The first Noel the angel did say
   was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
   in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
   on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

   Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
   born is the King of Israel.

2 They looked up and saw a star
   shining in the east beyond them far;
   and to the earth it gave great light,
   and so it continued both day and night. [Refrain]

3 And by the light of that same star
   three wise men came from country far;
   to seek for a king was their intent,
   and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]

4 This star drew nigh to the northwest;
   o’er Bethlehem it took its rest,
   and there it did both stop and stay,
   right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]

5 Then entered in those wise men three,
   full reverently upon their knee,
   and offered there in his presence
   their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. [Refrain]
                         Old English Carol
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing> adds a sixth verse, which I don't know why the Methodist Hymnal excised. I remember singing it as a child, but maybe that's because we had multiple Christmas LPs and sheet music for many Christmas carols (my mom used to play the piano quite a bit when I was growing up):

6 Then let us all with one accord
   sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
   that hath made heaven and earth of nought,
   and with his blood our life hath bought. [Refrain]
</idle musing>

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