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Rejoice and Be Merry (The Gallery Carol)

[ Roud V9595 ; English trad.]

Rejoice and Be Merry (The Gallery Carol) is from The New Oxford Book of Carols (1992). The editors commented:

The words and tune are from an old church-gallery tune-book, Dorset, and were communicated to the editors of The English Carol Book (second series, 1919) by the Revd. L.J.T. Darwall. The present whereabouts of the gallery book are not known.

Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band sang Rejoice and Be Merry in 1987 on their CD A Tapestry of Carols.

The Albion Christmas Band sang Rejoice and Be Merry on their CDs An Albion Christmas (2003) and Traditional (2009).

Kerfuffle sang the Gallery Carol in 2009 on their Midwinter album Lighten the Dark.

Andy Turner sang Rejoice and Be Merry as part of the December 16, 2013 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week.

Lyrics

Maddy Prior sings Rejoice and Be Merry

Rejoice and be merry in song and in mirth;
O praise our Redeemer, all mortals on earth!
For this is the birthday of Jesus our King,
Who brought us salvation: his praises we'll sing.

A heavenly vision appeared in the sky;
Vast numbers of angels the shepherds did spy,
Proclaiming the birthday of Jesus our King,
Who brought us salvation: his praises we'll sing.

Likewise a bright star in the sky did appear,
Which led the wise men from the East to draw near;
They found the Messiah, sweet Jesus our King,
Who brought us salvation: his praises we'll sing.

And when they were come, they their treasures unfold,
And unto him offered myrrh, incense and gold.
So blessed for ever be Jesus our King,
Who brought us salvation: his praises we'll sing.