English Folk-Carols/Come all you worthy gentlemen

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English Folk-Carols by [[Author:Anonymous|Anonymous]]
Somerset Carol
an English folk carol of unknown authorship usually performed at Christmas. Collected in the early part of the 20th century in Somerset, it was performed to Cecil Sharp by a Mr. Rapsey of Bridgwater (and is hence known as the Somerset Carol)


1. Come all you worthy gentlemen
That may be standing by.
Christ our blessed Saviour
Was born on Christmas day.
The blessed virgin Mary
Unto the Lord did say,
O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

2. Christ our blessed Saviour
Now in the manger lay;
He's lying in the manger,
While the oxen fed on hay.
The blessed Virgin Mary
Unto the Lord did pray.
O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

3. God bless the ruler of this house,
And long on may he reign;
Many happy Christmases
He live to see again!
God bless our generation
Who live both far and near;
O we wish you the comfort and tidings of joy!

Cecil Sharp's note[edit]

No. 11. COME ALL YOU WORTHY GENTLEMEN.
Sung by Mr. Rapsey, of Bridgwater.

This carol has been already printed in Folk-Songs from Somerset (No. 126). The only alteration that has been made in Mr. Rapsey's words is the substitution of the word "pray" for "say" in the penultimate lines of the first two stanzas. Mr. Rapsey told me that the carol was taught to him by his mother and that, in company with other children, he used to sing it in the streets of Bridgwater at Christmas time. I do not know of another printed version of the carol.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. Ibid., p. 63
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.