> The Young Tradition > Songs > The Truth Sent from Above
> Maddy Prior > Songs > This Is the Truth

The Truth Sent from Above

[ Roud 2109 ; Ballad Index Leath196 ; trad.]

Heather Wood sang the traditional carol The Truth Sent from Above on the Young Tradition's eponymous first album, The Young Tradition. The album's liner notes commented:

This is a traditional carol, collected in 1909 by Vaughan Williams from Mr. W. Jenkins, of King's Pyon, Herefordshire. The tune is in the Dorian mode, and has affinities with several others, including Searching for Lambs. In 1823 it appeared in Hone's list of carols. Heather learned it at school.

A live recording of Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band singing This Is the Truth from their December 1997 Christmas Tour is on their CD Carols at Christmas.

Kerfuffle sang The Truth from Above in 2009 on their Midwinter album Lighten the Dark.

Magpie Lane sang This Is the Truth Sent from Above in 2006 on their CD of carols, songs and tunes for the Christmas Season, Knock at the Knocker, Ring at the Bell. Andy Turner sang it solo as the December 17, 2012 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week, and he also included a Magpie Lane version recorded at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Dunstan, Woking, on December 8, 2012. He commented in his blog:

I got this—and a number of other goodies—on a carol-collecting expedition to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library ten or so years ago. I had the song from Cecil Sharp’s Folk Tunes MS. He noted it down in October 1911 from seventy-one year old Samuel Bradley and seventy year old Seth Vandrell at Lilleshall in Shropshire. His notes in the MS say “Always sung to this tune. Learned many years ago.”

Sharp published this carol, and at least a couple of others noted on the same 1911 collecting trip, in his English Folk Carols—and he can’t have wasted any time preparing these songs for inclusion since the book was published late the same year.

Lyrics

Heather Wood sings The Truth Sent from AboveMaddy Prior sings This Is the Truth

This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love.
Therefore don't turn me from your door
But hearken all both rich and poor.

This is the truth sent from above,
The truth of God, the God of love.
Therefore don't turn me from your door
But hearken all both rich and poor.

The first thing that I do relate
Is that God did man create.
The next thing which to you I`ll tell
Woman was made with man to dwell.

And after that, 'twas God's own choice
To place them both in Paradise,
There to remain from evil free
Except they ate of such a tree.

But they did eat, which was a sin,
And so their ruin did begin,
Ruined themselves, both you and me,
And all of their posterity.

So we were heirs to endless woes
Till God the Lord did interpose
And so a promise soon did run
That he would redeem us by his son.

Thus we were heirs to endless woes
Till God the Lord did interpose
And so a promise soon did run
That he would redeem us by his son.

And at that season of the year
Our blest redeemer did appear
And here did live and here did preach
And many thousands he did teach.

Thus he in love to us behaved
To show us how we must be saved
And if you want to know the way
Be pleased to hear what he did say.