The First Nowell

I first heard this at a Wassail party near Burnley in Lancashire. It's the familiar Yorkshire tune to the song "Young Banker" from the Frank Kidson MSS, popularized by the Watersons.

The first Nowell the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay fast asleep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep

     Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Born is the King of Israel,
     Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far
To the earth it gave great light
And so it did continue both day and night

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went

This star drew nigh to the north-west
Over Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in his presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense

© Golden Hind Music