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The Cherry Tree Carol

When Joseph was an old man

Published in 5 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he;
He married sweet Mary,
The queen of Galilee.

2 As they want a-walking
In the garden so gay;
Maid Mary spied cherries,
Hanging over yon tree.

3 Mary said to Joseph
With her sweet lips so mild,
"Pluck those cherries, Joseph,
For to give to my Child."

4 "O then," replièd Joseph,
With words so unkind,
"I will pluck no cherries
For to give to thy Child."

5 Mary said to cherry tree,
"Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries,
By one, two and three."

6 Then the uppermost sprig then
Bowed down to her knee;
"Thus you may see, Joseph,
These cherries are for me."

7 O eat your cherries, Mary,
O eat your cherries now,
O eat your cherries, Mary,
That grow upon the bough.

8 As Joseph was a-walking,
He heard angels sing,
“This night there shall be born,
Our heavenly king.

9 “He neither shall be born
In house nor in hall,
Nor in the place of paradise,
But in an ox stall.

10 “He shall not be clothed
In purple or pall;
But all in fair linen,
As wear babies all.

11 “He shall not be rockèd
In silver nor gold,
But in a wooden cradle
That rocks on the mould.

12 "He neither shall be christened
In milk nor in wine,
But in pure spring well water
Fresh sprung from Bethine."

13 Mary took her Baby,
She dressed Him so sweet,
She laid Him in a manger,
All there for to sleep.

14 As she stood over Him
She heard angels sing:
"O bless our dear Savior,
Our heavenly king."

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #10914

Text Information

First Line: When Joseph was an old man
Title: The Cherry Tree Carol
Source: Traditional