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The Friendly Beasts

Full Text

1 Jesus, our brother, strong and good,
was humbly born in a stable rude,
and the friendly beasts around him stood,
Jesus, our brother, strong and good.

2 “I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
“I carried your mother uphill and down,
I carried your mother to Bethlehem town;
I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

3 “I,” said the cow, all white and red,
“I gave you my manger for your bed,
I gave you hay to pillow your head;
I,” said the cow, all white and red.

4 “I,” said the sheep with curly horn,
“I gave you my wool for a blanket warm,
you wore my coat on Christmas morn;
I,” said the sheep with curly horn.

5 “I,” said the dove, from the rafters high,
“I cooed you to sleep that you should not cry,
we cooed you to sleep, my love and I;
I,” said the dove, from the rafters high.

6 Thus all the beasts, by some good spell,
in the stable dark were glad to tell
of the gifts they gave Emmanuel,
the gifts they gave Emmanuel.

Source: The New Century Hymnal #138

Translator: Robert Davis

(no biographical information available about Robert Davis.) Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Jesus our brother, strong and good
Title: The Friendly Beasts
Translator: Robert Davis
Meter: Irregular
Source: 12th cent. French carol
Language: English



The Cyber Hymnal #1614
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 7 of 7)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #98
The Cyber Hymnal #1614TextScoreAudio
The New Century Hymnal #138TextPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal #227TextAudio
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #261
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #56
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #78
Include 24 pre-1979 instances