This song was first made known by the Copper family (seen in the video) who released a recording of the traditional Christmas song on a 1971 recording A Song For Every Season. It is supposed to have originated in the area of Sussex, but there isn’t much research into the history of this lovely carol with some similarity to the shape-note/Sacred Harp tradition found in the United States.
A very Merry Christmas to you all!
Shepherds Arise/Sing, Sing All Earth
Shepherds arise, be not afraid, with hasty steps repair,
To David’s City sin on earth,*
With our blest infant there. x3
Sing, sing all earth! Sing sing all earth, eternal praises sing!
(To our redeemer) to our redeemer and our heavenly King.
Laid in a manger, view the Child. Humility divine.
Sweet in our senses, meek and mild
Grace in his features shines! x3
For us the Savior came on earth. For us His life he gave.
To save us from eternal death,
And to raise us from the grave. x3
*There is some confusion and discussion over this line. Many sources now believe this line is more properly “See the maid” as maid and afraid rhyme, and the sentence “See the maid with our blest infant there” makes grammatical sense.
St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
One of my very favorite songs for the Christmas season, originating in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Apparently, it’s one of the oldest extant European Christmas carols, which came back into the tradition around the turn of the 20th century. The video below is an intimate, and beautiful, performance traditional singer by Marianne McAleer.
The Wexford Carol
Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born
The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox’s stall
Christmas celebrations in Cornwall.
Merry/Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. New and greater things are in store for 2014 here on SOTI. Now, here are the Chieftains with a 19th century Cornish carol.
Now the holly bears a berry as white as the milk,
And Mary bore Jesus, who was wrapped up in silk:
Chorus: And Mary bore Jesus Christ our Saviour for to be,
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly.
And the first tree in the greenwood, it was the holly!
Now the holly bears a berry as green as the grass,
And Mary bore Jesus, who died on the cross: