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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleChristmas Carol
Roud No.453
Collected FromCouzens, John
LocationLangley Burrell
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByKilvert, Francis
Alternative TitleCherry tree carol
Tune
Date1874
Source Primary
Source SecondaryKilvert, Francis: Kilvert�s diary Jonathon Cape 1938 p 312 � 314
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he,
When first he courted Mary
What a virgin was she.

Verse 2

Joseph and Mary
Walked out in Garden's Wood,
Were apples, plums and cherries
As red as they grow.

Verse 3

Mary spoke to Joseph
So meek and so mild,
"Gather me some cherries, Joseph,
For I am with child."

Verse 4

Then up spoke Joseph
With his words so unkind,
"Let them gather your cherries, Mary,
That got you with child."

Verse 5

Then up spake Jesus
Out of His Mother's womb,
"Bow down then sweet cherry tree,
Bow down to the ground."

Verse 6

The top of the bower
Bowed down to Mary's arms,
Mary gathered cherries
And Jesus had some.

Verse 7

Joseph and Mary
Their substance was small,
They could get no lodging
In the City at all.

Verse 8

Joseph and Mary
In the stable did lie
Where oxen and asses
They used for to lie.

Verse 9

Joseph and Mary
They thought it no harm
And before the next morning
Our Saviour was born.

Verse 10

Small store of fine linen
From heaven was sent,
Small store of fine linen
To wrap it up in.

Verse 11

Mary dressed her baby,
And she dressed it so neat,
And 'twere in an old manger
Where she laid it to sleep.

Verse 12

Joseph and Mary
In the heavens so high
They saw the poor shepherds
In the fields where they lie.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
My thanks to Sheila Jones, Ceredigion who is researching Francis Kilvert, for pointing me to the two songs collected by Kilvert in Wiltshire.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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