> The Watersons > Songs > All You That Are to Mirth Inclined

All You That Are to Mirth Inclined / The Sinner’s Redemption

[ Roud 2431 ; Ballad Index OBC051 ; VWML CJS2/10/2544 , RVW2/1/88 ; Bodleian Roud 2431 ; Mudcat 2735 ; trad.]

Ian Russell, The Derbyshire Book of Village Carols Cecil Sharp: English Folk-Carols (1911)

The Valley Folk sang the carol All You That Are to Mirth Inclined in 1968 on their Topic album of carols for all seasons, All Bells in Paradise. A.L. Lloyd noted:

Probably made in the eighteenth century, it was greatly popular throughout the nineteenth, but faded almost out of sight in the twentieth. Some called it The Sinner’s Redemption. It was common on broadside often with lengthy texts that took the reader through Jesus’s life, death and resurrection; but it was the nativity verses that best stayed the course. Davies Gilbert published a version in his little carol book (1822), and it was subsequently printed by Sylvester, Bramley and Stainer, and others. Cecil Sharp published this version in his English Folk-Carols (1911). He noted it in Birmingham from Mrs Gentie Phillips of Tysoe [VWML CJS2/10/2544] , but she could remember little of the words, so Sharp filled out the text from broadsides. Mrs Phillips’s tune is one very commonly used for carols, a near relative of the melody of Searching for Lambs and of the glorious boozing song, A Jug of This.

Magpie Lane sang All You Who Are to Mirth Inclined in 2006 on their Beautiful Jo album of carols, songs and tunes for the Christmas season, Knock at the Knocker, Ring at the Bell. They noted:

Carol-singing traditions continue to thrive in certain parts of Derbyshire, such as the village of Castleton in the Peak District. This carol dates from at least 1656. The melody and first verse were taken down by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1908 from a Mr J. Hall [VWML RVW2/1/88] , and published in his Eight Traditional English Carols, where it is filled out with verses from an earlier publication. Old Castleton Christmas Carols. We sing just six of the ten published verses; other versions have many more. Joshua Sylvestre, writing in 1861, stated that “This rude old carol is still an especial favourite with the peasantry…”


The Valley Folk sing All You That Are to Mirth Inclined

All you that are unto mirth inclined,
Consider well and do bear in mind
What our great God for us hath done
In sending His beloved Son.

Let all your songs and your praises be
Unto His heavenly Majesty;
And evermore, amongst your mirth.
Remember Christ our Saviour’s birth.

The five-and-twentieth of December
Great cause we have to remember;
In Bethlehem, upon that morn,
There was our bless’d Messiah born.

Near Bethlehem shepherds they did keep
Their herds and flocks, a-feeding sheep,
To whom God’s Angel did soon appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear.

Prepare and go, the Angel said,
To Bethlehem, be ye not afraid;
There shall ye see, this blessed morn,
The heavenly Babe, sweet Jesus, born.

With thankful heart and with joyful mind
The shepherds went for this Babe to find;
And, as the heavenly Angel told,
They did our Saviour Christ behold.

Within a manger the Babe was laid;
The Virgin Mary beside Him stayed,
Attending on the Lord of Life,
Being both Mother, Maid and Wife.

If choirs of angels they did rejoice,
Well may mankind, both with heart and voice,
Sing praises to the God of heaven,
Who unto us His Son hath given.