91. 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 a-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,
that hath made heaven and earth of nought,
and with his blood our life hath bought. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: The first Nowell the angel did say
Title: The First Nowell
Publication Date: 1996
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Topic: The Christian Year: Epiphany; Angels; Biblical Characters: Wisemen/Sages/Kings (10 more...)
Source: English traditional carol, ca. 17th century
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell
Tune Information
Name: THE FIRST NOWELL
Harmonizer: John Stainer (1871)
Harmonizer and Composer (descant): Healey Willan (1926)
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Key: D Major
Copyright: Refrain harmony and descant copyright © 1926 Oxford University Press, Inc.



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