Tag Archives: Christmas

Go tell it on the mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain,
that Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
over silent flocks by night
behold throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. Refrain

The shepherds feared and trembled,
when lo! above the earth,
rang out the angels chorus
that hailed the Savior’s birth. Refrain

[Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born
and God sent us salvation
that blessèd Christmas morn. Refrain]

–Words: African-American spiritual, nineteenth century
–Tune: GO TELL IT (19th century African-American spiritual)

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Mary, did you know

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb!

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I AM.
The great I AM…

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In dulci jubilo

In dulci jubilo
Let us our homage shew:
Our heart’s joy reclineth
In praesepio;
And like a bright star shineth
Matris in gremio,
Alpha es et O!

O Jesu parvule,
I yearn for thee alway!
Hear me, I beseech Thee,
O puer optime;
My praying let it reach Thee,
O princeps gloriae.
Trahe me post te.

O patris caritas!
O Nati lenitas!
Deeply were we stained.
Per nostra crimina:
But Thou for us hast gained
Coelorum gaudia,
O that we were there!

Ubi sunt gaudia,
If that they be not there?
There are Angels singing
Nova cantica;
And there the bells are ringing
In Regis curia.
O that we were there!

–Fourteenth century German/Latin carol

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Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;


Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
This have I done for my true love.

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
To call my true love to my dance.


In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Between an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.


Then afterwards baptized I was;
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,
My Father’s voice heard I from above,
To call my true love to my dance.


–Traditional English carol

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Oikan Ayns Bethlehem (The Babe in Bethlehem)

Nish lhisagh shin yn feailley shoh
Y reayll lesh creeaghyn glen
Ayns cooinaghtyn jeh Yeesey Chreest
Oikan ayns Bethlehem

Daag Eh cooyrtn sollys E Ayr
Goaill er yn dooghys ain
Ruggit jeh Moidyn ghlen gyn chron
Oikan ayns Bethlehem

Eisht ainleyn Niau ren boggey ghoaill
Haink lesh ny naightyn hooin
Ginsh jeh Saualtagh ruggiy jiu
Oikan ayns Bethlehem

Nagh mooar yn insblid as y ghraih
V’ayns Yeesey Chreest yn Eayn
Tra ghow Eh er cummey Harvaant
Oikan ayns Bethlehem

Ard gloyr da Jee ‘syn yrjid heose
Ta reill ayns maynrys beayn
Aigney mie Yee nish soilhit dooin
Oikan ayns Bethlehem

English translation

Now ought we this festival
To keep with pure hearts
In memory of Jesus Christ
A babe in Bethlehem

He left the bright Courts of His Father
Taking on our human form
Born of the pure Virgin
A babe in Bethlehem

Then the angels of Heaven rejoiced
And came to us with the tidings
Telling of the Saviour born today
A babe in Bethlehem

How great the humility and the love
Which was in Jesus Christ the Lamb
When He took the form of His Servant
A babe in Bethlehem

Great glory to God in the highest
Who rules in eternal happiness
The mind of God is now made clear to us
A babe in Bethlehem

–Traditional Manx carol (from the Isle of Man)

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Shepherd’s Carol

We stood on the hills, Lady,
Our day’s work done,
Watching the frosted meadows
That winter had won.

The evening was calm, Lady,
The air so still,
Silence more lovely than music
Folded the hill.

There was a star, Lady,
Shone in the night,
Larger than Venus it was
And bright, so bright.

Oh, a voice from the sky, Lady,
It seemed to us then
Telling of God being born
In the world of men.

And so we have come, Lady,
Our day’s work done,
Our love, our hopes, ourselves,
We give to your son.

–Bob Chilcott (composed in 2000)

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Angelus ad Virginem

Angelus ad virginem,
Subintrans in conclave,
Virginis formidinem
Demulcens, inquit “Ave!
Ave, regina virginum:
Coeli terraeque dominum
Concipies et paries intacta
Salutem hominum;
Tu porta coeli facta,
Medela criminum.”

The angel came to the Virgin,
entering secretly into her room;
calming the Virgin’s fear, he said, “Hail!
Hail, queen of virgins:
you will conceive the Lord of heaven and earth
and bear him, still a virgin,
to be the salvation of mankind;
you will be made the gate of heaven,
the cure of sins.”

“Quomodo conciperem,
Quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem,
Quae firma mente vovi?”
“Spiritus sancti gratia
Perficiet haec omnia.
Ne timeas, sed gaudeas
Secura, quod castimonia
Manebit in te pura
Dei potentia.”

“How can I conceive,
When I have never known a man?
How can I transgress
resolutions that I have vowed with a firm mind?”
The grace of the Holy Spirit
shall do all this.
Do not be afraid, but rejoice
without a care, since your chastity
will remain in you unspoilt
through the power of God.”

Ad haec, virgo nobilis
Respondens inquit ei,
“Ancilla sum humilis
Omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi coelesti nuntio,
Tanti secreti conscio,
Consentiens et cupiens videre
Factum quod audio,
Parata sum parere
Dei consilio.”

To this, the noble Virgin,
replying, said to him,
“I am the humble maidservant
of almighty God.
To you, heavenly messenger,
and bearer of such a great secret,
I give my consent, and wishing to see
done what I hear,
I am ready to obey
the will of God.”

Angelus disparuit
Et statim puellaris
Uterus intumuit
Vi partus salutaris.
Qui, circumdatus utero
Novem mensium numero,
Hinc exiit et iniit conflictum,
Affigens humero
Crucem, qua dedit ictum
Hosti mortifero.

The angel vanished,
and at once the girl’s
womb swelled
with the force of the pregnancy of salvation.
He, protected by the womb
for nine months in number,
left it and began the struggle,
fixing to his shoulder
a cross, with which he dealt the blow
to the deadly Enemy.

Eia Mater Domini,
Quae pacem reddidisti
Angelis et homini
Cum Christum genuisti!
Tuum exora filium
Ut se nobis propitium
Exhibeat, et deleat peccata,
Praestans auxilium
Vita frui beata
Post hoc exsilium.

Hail, Mother of our Lord,
who brought peace back
to angels and men
when you bore Christ!
Pray your son
that he may show favor to us
and blot out our sins,
giving us help
to enjoy a blessed life
after this exile.

–14th Century Irish carol

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