Wexford Carol

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The Wexford Carol (Irish: Carúl Loch Garman, Carúl Inis Córthaidh) is a traditional religious Irish Christmas carol originating from County Wexford, and specifically, Enniscorthy (whence its other name), and dating to the 12th century.[1][unreliable source?] The subject of the song is that of the nativity of Jesus Christ.

"The Wexford Carol," sometimes known by its first verse, "Good people all this Christmas time," is one of the oldest extant Christmas carols in the European tradition. The song achieved a renewed popularity due to the work of William Grattan Flood (1859 - 1928), who was organist and musical director at St. Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy. He transcribed the carol from a local singer, and had it published in the Oxford Book of Carols, putting Enniscorthy into most carol books around the world.

Traditions abound concerning the song. For many years, it was felt that only men should sing it.[citation needed] It was only during the current revival of all things Irish that this has changed. Many popular female artists, such as Julie Andrews in 1966, and Loreena McKennitt in 1987, have recorded versions of the “Wexford Carol."

English lyrics[edit]

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born
The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born
With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife
There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.[2]

Irish Lyrics[edit]

Ó, tagaig' uile is adhraigí
An leanbh cneasta sa chró 'na luí
Is cuimhnígí ar ghrá an Rí
A thug dár saoradh anocht an Naí.
'S a Mhuire Mháthair i bParrthas Dé,
Ar chlann bhocht Éabha guigh 'nois go caomh,
Is doras an chró na dún go deo
Go n-adhram' feasta Mac Mhuire Ógh.
I mBeithil thoir i lár na hoích'
Ba chlos an deascéala d'aoirí,
Go follas don saol ón spéir go binn
Bhí aingle 'canadh ó rinn go rinn.
"Ghluaisig' go beo," dúirt Aingeal Dé,
"Go Beithil sall is gheobhaidh sibh É
'Na luí go séimh i mainséar féir,
Siúd É an Meisias a ghráigh an saol."[3]


Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ December 2005 Emerald Reflections - Sing an Irish Christmas Song
  2. ^ Enniscorthy Carol
  3. ^ "Ceol na Nollag" issued in Dublin by Cló Chaisil in cooperation with Foras na Gaeilge

External links[edit]