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A Few Old World Christmas Carols and Madrigals

Updated on April 24, 2010

This time of year always brings back fond memories of those old Lessons and Carols services that I enjoyed so much. Below are traditional English and European Christmas carols that are particular favorites of mind.


IN dulci jubilo

Let us our homage shew;

Our heart’s joy reclineth

In praesepio,

And like a bright star shineth

Matris in gremio.

Alpha es et O!


O Jesu parvule,

I yearn for thee alway;

Listen to my ditty,

O Puer optime,

Have pity on me, pity,

O princeps gloriae!

Trahe me post te!


O Patris caritas,

O Nati lenitas!

Deeply were we stain `ed

Per nostra crimina;

But thou hast for us gain `ed

Coelorum gaudia.

O that we were there!


Ubi sunt gaudia,

Where, if that they be not there?

There are angels singing

Nova cantica,

There the bells are ringing

In Regis curia:

O that we were there!


Words and Music, 14 TH CENTURY GERMAN Arr.



For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

O Jesulein Suß by J.S. Bach

O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Deines Vaters Willen hast du erfüllt, bist kommen aus dem Himmelreich, uns armen Menschen worden gleich. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Deins Vaters Zorn hast du gestillt, du zahlst für uns all unser Schuld und bringet uns in deins Vaters Huld. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Mit Freuden hast du die Welt erfüllt. Du kommst herab vons Himmels Saal Und tröstest und in dem Jammertal. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Sei unser Schirm und unser Schild, wir bitten durch dein Geburt im Stall, beschütz uns all vor Sündenfall. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Du bist der Lieb ein Webenbild. Zünd an in uns der Liebe Flamm, dass wir dich lieben allzusamm. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild! Hilf, dass wir tun alls, was du willt, was unser ist, ist alles dein, ach lass uns dir befohlen sein. O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild!



1     PASTIME with good company

2     I love and shall unto I die.

3     Grudge who list, but none deny,

4     So God be pleased, thus live will I.

5     For my pastance

6     Hunt, sing, and dance.

7     My heart is set

8     All goodly sport

9     For my comfort.

10   Who shall me let?

11   Youth must have some dalliance,

12   Of good or ill some pastance.

13   Company me thinketh then best

14   All thoftes and fancies to digest.

15   For idleness

16   Is chief mistress

17   Of vices all.

18   Then who can say

19   But mirth and play

20   Is best of all?

21   Company with honesty

22   Is virtue, and vice to flee.

23   Company is good or ill

24   But every man hath his free will.

25   The best ensue,

26   The worst eschew,

27   My mind shall be.

28   Virtue to use,

29   Vice to refuse,

30   I shall use me.


Riu, Riu, Chiu! Spanish Madrigal


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