English Folk-Carols/On Christmas Night

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English Folk-Carols by [[Author:Anonymous|Anonymous]]
On Christmas Night
an English folk carol. This version it was performed to Cecil Sharp by a Mr. William Bayliss of Buckland, Gloucestershire. At the same time, Ralph Vaughan Williams collected a (now better-known) version with a different tune in Monk's Gate, near Horsham, Sussex and thus this text often referred to as The Sussex Carol.


1. On Christmas night all Christians sing
To hear what news those angels bring;
News of great joy, news of great mirth,
News of our Saviour King's own birth.

2. Then why should men on earth be so sad
Since our Redeemer made us glad,
When from sin He set us free
All for to gain our liberty.

3. Now sin depart, behold His grace,
Everlasting life comes in its place,
And soon we shall its terror see
And poor and rich must conquered be.

4. Then out of darkness we see light,
Which makes all angels to sing this night
Glory to God and peace to men
Both now and evermore. Amen.

Cecil Sharp's note[edit]

No. 10. ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT.
Sung by Mr. William Bayliss of Buckland {Gloucestershire).

No alteration has been made in the words. The carol, set to a modern tune, is published in Bramley and Stainer's collection; while three traditional versions are printed in The Folk-Song Society's Journal (II, pp. 126-7). The words are on a broadside by Batchelar.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. Ibid. p. 64
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.