The First Nowell

Melody - Melody - English Carol, 1833

English carol

The first Nowell
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.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

2. For all to see
There was 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.

3. The star drew nigh
To the North-West,
O'er Bethlehem
It took its rest,
And there it did,
Both stop and stay,
Right over the place
Where Jesus lay.

4. And by the light
Of that same star
The wise men came
From country far,
To seek for a king
Was their intent,
And to follow the star
Wherever it went.

5. Then let us all
With one accord
Sing praises to
Our heavenly Lord
Who hath made heav'n
And earth of naught,
And with His blood
Mankind hath bought.

This is one of the oldest Ballad carols. The earliest known printed version is from 1833 but the carol is at least 250 or 300 years older. In spite of having its name misspelled "Noel" occasionally, it has never had any French associations. It's as English as plum pudding!

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