The Cherry Tree Carol

New Oxford Book of Carols [NOBC] #128-I, p.440-1.

Joseph was an old man and an old man was he
When he wedded Mary in the land of Galilee

When Joseph was married and Mary home had got,
Mary proved with child, by whom Joseph knew not.

Joseph and Mary walked through an orchard good,
Where was cherries and berries, as red as any blood.

Joseph and Mary walked through an orchard green,
Where was berries and cherries, as thick as might be seen.

O then bespoke Mary, so meek and so mild:
"Pluck me a cherry, Joseph; they run so in my mind."

O then bespoke Joseph, with words most reviled:
"Let him pluck thee a cherry that brought thee with child."

O then bespoke Jesus, all in his mother's womb:
"Bow down, then, thou tallest tree, for my mother to have some!

"Go to the tree, Mother Mary, and it shall bow to thee,
And the highest branch of all shall bow down to your knee."

Then bowed down the tallest tree, it bent to Mary's hand;
Then she cried: "See, Joseph, I have cherries at command."

O then bespoke Joseph: "I have done Mary wrong.
So cheer up, my dearest, do not be cast down!"

Then Mary plucked a cherry, as red as any blood;
And she traveled onward, all with her heavy load.

© Golden Hind Music