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God rest ye merry, gentlemen

Traditional English, 18th century
  1. God rest you merry, gentlemen,
    Let nothing you dismay.
    For Jesus Christ our Savior,1
    Was born on Christmas Day;2
    To save us all from Satan’s power,
    When we were gone astray.

    Chorus
    O tidings of comfort and joy,
    For Jesus Christ our Savior
    Was born on Christmas day.

    Alternate chorus (from Bramley & Stainer)
    O tidings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy;
    O tidings of comfort and joy.

  2. In Bethlehem, in Jury,3
    This blessed Babe was born,4
    And laid within a manger,
    Upon this blessed morn;
    The which His mother Mary
    Did nothing take in scorn.5

  3. From God our heavenly Father,
    A blessed angel came.
    And unto certain shepherds,
    Brought tidings of the same,
    How that in Bethlehem was born,
    The Son of God by name:

  4. Fear not, then said the Angel,
    Let nothing you affright,
    This day is born a Savior,
    Of virtue, power, and might;6
    So frequently to vanquish all,
    The friends of Satan quite;7

  5. The shepherds at those tidings,
    Rejoiced much in mind,
    And left their flocks a feeding,
    In tempest, storm, and wind,
    And went to Bethlehem straightway,
    This blessed babe to find:8

  6. But when to Bethlehem they came,
    Whereas this infant lay9
    They found him in a manger,
    Where oxen feed on hay;
    His mother Mary kneeling,10
    Unto the Lord did pray:

  7. With sudden joy and gladness11
    The shepherds were beguiled,
    To see the Babe if Israel,
    Before His mother mild,
    O then with joy and cheerfulness
    Rejoice, each mother’s child.

  8. Now to the Lord sing praises,
    All you within this place,
    And with true love and brotherhood,
    Each other now embrace;
    This holy tide of Christmas,
    Doth bring redeeming grace.12

  9. God bless the ruler of this house,
    And send him long to reign,
    And many a merry Christmas
    May live to see again;
    Among your friends and kindred
    That live both far and near.


  1. Or: ‘Remember Christ our Savior,’. ↩︎

  2. Or: ‘Was born ‘upon this day’. ↩︎

  3. Or: Jewry (the land of the Israelites). ↩︎

  4. Or: In Bethlehem, ‘in Israel,’ this blessed Babe was born ↩︎

  5. Or: ‘Nothing did take in scorn.’ ↩︎

  6. Or: This day is born a Savior, Of ‘a pure Virgin bright,’ ↩︎

  7. Or: ‘To free all those who trust in Him, From Satan’s power and might’. ↩︎

  8. Or: ‘And went to ‘Bethl’em straightaway,’ This blessed babe to find:’
    Or: ‘The Son of God to find’. ↩︎

  9. Or: ‘And when they came to Bethlehem …’.
    Or: ‘Whereat’ this infant lay
    Or: ‘where our dear Savior lay,’ ↩︎

  10. Or: His mother Mary kneeling ‘down,’ ↩︎

  11. The seventh and ninth verses are a later addition. ↩︎

  12. Or: ‘all other doth deface’ ↩︎