The first Nowell the angel did say


The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
in fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Refrain:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.


They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far,
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night. Refrain

And by the light of that same star
three wise men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went. Refrain

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
o'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
and there it did both stop and stay
right over the place where Jesus lay. Refrain

Then entered in those wise men three
full reverently upon their knee,
and offered there in his presence
their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. Refrain

Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
that hath made heaven and earth of nought,
and with his blood mankind hath bought. Refrain


Words: traditional English carol, seventeenth century

Music: The First Nowell (English traditional)

Meter: Irr.

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874      
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868       
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869      
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins)      
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924      
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879      
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885      
The Hymnal Companion, 1890      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein)      
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter)      
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903      
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904      
The English Hymnal, 1906      
The Book of Common Praise, 1908 748 The First Nowell  
The Hymnal 1916 551 The First Nowell  
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919 Carols 13 The First Nowell  
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
660 The First Nowell  
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925 071 The First Nowell  
Songs of Praise, 1925      
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931 384 The First Nowell  
The Book of Common Praise, 1938 750 The First Nowell  
The Hymnal 1940 030 The First Nowell  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950      
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960 Carols 23 The First Nowell  
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965 117 The First Nowell  
The Hymn Book 1971 410 The First Nowell  
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977 221 The First Nowell  
The Hymnal 1982 109 The First Nowell  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983      
The New English Hymnal, 1985 036 The First Nowell  
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988 093 The First Nowell Text modernized and abridged (4 verses)
Church Family Worship, 1988 109 The First Nowell  
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996 477 The First Nowell  
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998 139 The First Nowell  
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999 301 The First Nowell  
Sing Glory, 1999      
Complete Mission Praise, 2000 644 The First Nowell  
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000      
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000 641 The First Nowell  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000 198 The First Nowell  

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.