Scores This carol tells a story loosely based on the Gospel accounts in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 of the events surrounding Jesus' birth, with the shepherds, the star, and the wise men. Text: This carol is an anonymous folk song, probably from the seventeenth century. Most modern hymnals use six of these nine stanzas, eliminating the fifth, seventh, and ninth from Gilbert's text. The second stanza is historically inaccurate, because it implies that the shepherds followed the star, while it was actually the wise men. Most hymnals leave this stanza intact, but a few correct the first line or omit the whole stanza to avoid this issue. According to Alan Luff, the melody may come from Cornwall, England, because Sandys transcribed it there, and because two other songs from that region are quite similar The Hymnal Companion, vol.
The First Noel the Angel Did Say | excellency-italy.com
Its current form was first published in Carols Ancient and Modern and Gilbert and Sandys Carols , both of which were edited by William Sandys and arranged, edited and with extra lyrics written by Davies Gilbert for Hymns and Carols of God. All three phrases end on the third of the scale. She speculated based on a set of church gallery parts discovered in Westmorland that the tune may have had its origin as a treble part to another carol "Hark, hark the angels sing"; her suggestion was that the treble part was passed down orally and was later remembered as the melody rather than a harmony. Textual comparison[ edit ] In common with many traditional songs and carols the lyrics vary across books.