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.

Nowell, nowell, nowell, nowell,
born in a manger, Emmanuel.

2 They looked above 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 sages came from country far,
To seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]

4 This star shone bright in 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 magi three,
and bending low upon their knee,
They offered there, in great reverence,
their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: The first Nowell, the angel did say
Title: The First Nowell
Publication Date: 1995
Meter: Irr. with refrain
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 2:8-20
Topic: Christmas; Jesus Christ: Birth and Infancy; Year A: Epiphany (2 more...)
Source: Traditional English carol, alt.
Language: English
Tune Information
Composer (descant): Edward Shippen Barnes (1937)
Meter: Irr. with refrain
Key: D Major
Source: Harm. Christmas Carols New and Old, 1871

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