Christmas Day (Gustav Holst)

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  • CPDL #15252:   
Editor: Douglas Walczak (submitted 2007-10-24).   Score information: Letter, 23 pages, 1.86 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Christmas Day
Subtitle: Choral Fantasy on Old Carols
Composer: Gustav Holst

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Soloist: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone (all optional)
Genre: SacredCarol

Language: English
Instruments: Organ

First published: 1910

Description: This Gustav Holst arrangement contains three Carols: Good Christian Men, Rejoice, God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen and Come, ye lofty, come, ye lowly, (Old Breton Melody) with a little The First Nowell thrown in for good measure. The Harmonizations of Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Come, ye lofty, come, ye lowly are available on the Christopher R. Baker website.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart, and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say:
News! News! Jesus Christ is born today:
Ox and ass before him bow,
And he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! [repeat]

God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from woe and sin,
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Jewry,
This blessed babe was born,
And laid within a manger,
Upon that holy morn;
The which His Mother, Mary,
Did nothing take in scorn.
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart, and soul, and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this.
He hath oped the heav’nly door,
And man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this.

Come ye lofty, come ye lowly,
Let your songs of gladness ring;
In a stable lies the Holy,
In a manger rests the King:
See in Mary’s arms reposing,
Christ by highest heav’n adored:

Sung simultaneously:
The first Nowell, the angels 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, Born is the King of Israel.

Come, your circle round him closing,
Pious hearts that love the Lord.
Come, ye poor, no pomp of station
Robes the Child your hearts adore.
He, the Lord of all salvation,
Shares your want, is weak and poor.
Oxen, round about behold them;
Rafters naked, cold and bare,
See the shepherds, God has told them
That the Prince of Life lies there.
Come ye children, blithe and merry,
This one Child your model make;
Christmas holly, leaf, and berry,
All be prized for His dear sake;
 
Come, ye gentle hearts, and tender,
come, ye spirits, keen and bold;
All in all your homage render,
Weak and mighty, young and old.
High above a star is shining,
And the wisemen haste from far:
Come glad hearts and spirits pining:
For you all has ris’n the star.
Let us bring our poor oblations,
Thanks and love and faith and praise:
Come, ye people, come ye nations,
all in all draw nigh to gaze.

Good Christian men, rejoice with heart, and soul, and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
News! News! Jesus Christ is born today:
Ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice,
with heart, and soul, and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this.
He hath oped the heav’nly door,
And man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this.

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All Israel, Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Good Christian men rejoice,
With heart, and soul, and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all,
To gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save.