139. The First Nowell

1 The first nowell 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.

Refrain:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
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]

6 Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
who has made heaven and earth of nought,
and with his blood salvation bought. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: The first nowell the angel did say
Title: The First Nowell
Publication Date: 1998
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 2:1-20
Topic: Christmas; Epiphany
Source: English trad.
Refrain First Line: Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell
Tune Information
Name: THE FIRST NOWELL
Arranger: John Stainer (1840-1901)
Composer (descant): Healey Willan (1880-1968)
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Source: English trad (17th cent.), alt.
Copyright: Descant © 1926 Oxford University Press



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