The First Noel the Angel Did Say

Representative Text

1 The first Noel 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.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
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 the knee,
and offered there, in his presence,
their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain]

The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Author: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >


The first Noel the angel did say. [Christmas.] This is given in Davis Gilbert's Ancient Christmas Carols, 1823, No. ix.; in the Christmas Carols of W. Sandys, 1833, p. 74; Tozer's Catholic Hymns, 1898, and others. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)



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A Hymnal for Friends #160

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Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #86

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Armed Forces Hymnal. Catholic Supplement #d91

At Worship, a hymnal for young churchmen #d253

Australian Hymn Book #221

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Baptist Hymnal 1975 #d415

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Camp Meeting Songs, a Collection of Gospel Songs ... #d130

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Chalice Hymnal #151

Chapel Hymns and Services #d119

Chapel Service, Cadet Hymns and Songs #d82


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Children's Praise #68

Christian Hymnways #d159

Christian Praise #d330

Christian Praise #d345

Christian Song #d322

Christian Worship and Praise #d411

Christian Worship, a Hymnal. Special ed. #d416

Christian Worship: a hymnal #197

Christian Youth Hymnal #15

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Christmas Carols and Hymns: for school and choir #110

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Christmas Carols New and Old (First Series) #VI

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Christmas Carols New and Old: Series 1 and 2 #6

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Christmas Carols New and Old: Series 1 and 2 and 3 #6

Christmas Classics No. 13 #d12

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Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #198

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #323

Church Service Hymns #d310


Common Praise (1998) #139

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Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #641

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Evangelical Lutheran Worship #300

Everybody's Hymn Book for Church and Home #d295

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Favorite Hymns #d126

Favorite Hymns for Children #d26

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Favorite Hymns of Praise #90

Fellowship Hymnal, with Worship Material and Services #d135

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