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Wexford Carol
traditional, 14th-century
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Mary Had a Baby
traditional, pre-1865
Mary had a baby - Yes Lord - Mary had a baby - Yes my Lord - Mary had a baby - Yes Lord - People keep a-coming - But the train done gone
Where did she lay Him - Yes Lord - Laid Him in a manger - Yes my Lord - Wrapped Him in swaddling - Yes Lord -
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Star kept a-shining - Yes Lord - Moving in the elements - Yes my Lord - Stood above the stable - Yes Lord
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What did she name Him - Yes Lord - Named Him King Jesus - Yes my Lord - Wonderful Councelor - Yes Lord
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Mary had a baby
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Sister Mary had but one child - Born in Bethlehem - And every time that baby cried - She'd rock him in the weary land - She'd rock him in the weary land
O three wise men - To Jerusalem came - They travelled from very far - They said where is He - Born King of the Jews - For we have seen His star - King Herod's heart was troubled - He marvelled - But his face was grim - He said tell me where - You find the child - That I may worship him
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An angel came to Joseph - And gave him this command - Arise and take - Your wife and child - And flee to Egypt land - For yonder comes old Harod - A wicked man and bold - He's slaying all the children - From six to eight days old
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Judah's Land
traditional, ca.1900
To Thee with joy I sing - Sweet child that heaven did bring - Now Judah's land shall ring - With Thy praises
Gentle stranger - In that manger - In Judah's land we'll find the infant Savior
I greet Thee Prince of Peace - From sin give Thy release - Nor shall my tongue e're cease - From Thy praises
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Thy crypt can scarse contain - Thy love our precious gain - May hymns new heights attain -With Thy praises
- chorus -
In Judah's land we'll find The blessed Savior
In Judah's land we'll find
The blessed Savior
In Judah's land we'll find
The blessed Savior
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Sweet Little Jesus
traditional, pre-1865
Sister Mary
traditional, pre-1865
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Fret Not
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P.O. Box 19020
Oakland, CA  94619
Attn:  Greg V. Arthur
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e-mail
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There's a star in the east - On Christmas morn - Rise up shepherd and follow - It will lead to the place - Where Christ was born - Rise up shepherd and follow
Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow - Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow - Leave your sheep - And leave your lambs - Rise up shepherd and follow - Leave your ewes - And leave your rams - Rise up shepherd and follow
If you take good heed - To the angel's word - Rise up shepherd and follow - You'll forget your flocks - You'll forget your herds - Rise up shepherd and follow
Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow - Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow - Feed your sheep - And feed your lambs - Rise up shepherd and follow - Feed your ewes - And feed your rams - Rise up shepherd and follow
Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow - Follow, follow - Rise up shepherd and follow
Rise Up Shepherd
traditional, pre-1865
Christ Was Born
traditional, ca.1900
Christ was born in Bethlehem - Christ was born in Bethlehem - Christ was born in Bethlehem and in a manger laid - And in a manger laid - And in a manger laid - Christ was born in Bethlehem and in a manger laid
The men they crucified Him - The men they crucified Him - The men they crucified Him and nailed Him to the cross - And nailed Him to the cross - And nailed Him to the cross - The men they crucified Him and nailed Him to the cross
Joseph begged His body - Joseph begged His body - Joseph begged His body and laid Him in the grave - And laid Him in the grave - And laid Him in the grave - Joseph begged His body and laid Him in the grave
The grave it could not hold Him - The grave it could not hold Him - The grave it could not hold Him, He burst the bonds of death - He burst the bonds of death - he burst the bonds of death - The grave it could not hold him, He burst the bonds of death
Christ was born in Bethlehem and in a manger laid
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I Wonder As I
john jacob niles, 1934
I wonder as I wander - Out under the sky - How Jesus our Savior - Did come for to die - For poor ornery sinners - Like you and like I - I wonder as I wander - Out under the sky
When Mary bore Jesus - T'was in a cow stall - With shepherds and wisemen - And angels and all - The blessings of Christmas- From heaven did fall - The weary world woke to - The Savior's call
If Jesus had wanted - For any wee thing - A star in the sky - Or bird on the wing - Or all of God's angels - In heaven to sing - He surely could have it - For He was the King
I wonder as I wander - Out under the sky - How Jesus our Savior - Did come for to die - For poor ornery sinners - Like you and like I - I wonder as I wander - Out under the sky
ChristChild's Lullaby
traditional, 1855
My love, my pride, my darling, Thou - My treasure new and gladness, Thou - My son, my beauty, ever Thou - Who am I to bear thee?
Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia Who am I to bear thee?
King of Kings, Most Holy One - God the Son, Eternal One - You are my God and helpless son - Who am I to come to Thee?
Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
Who am I to come to Thee?
Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
Who am I to bear thee?
Furry Day Carol
traditional, 14th century
19th century variant lyrics
Star in the East
traditional, 1811
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Baby Boy
traditional, pre-1833
The virgin Mary had a baby boy - The virgin Mary had a baby boy - The virgin Mary had a baby boy - And they gave Him the name of Jesus
He come from the glory - He come from the glorious Kingdom - He come from the glory - He come from the glorious Kindgom - Oh yes believer - Oh yes believer - He come from the glory - He come from the glorious Kingdom
Wisemen saw when the baby born - The wisemen saw where the baby born - The wisemen went where the baby born - And they said that his name was Jesus
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They found a manger in Bethlehem - A lowly manger in Bethlehem - And in that manger in Bethlehem - They worshipped the child named Jesus
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There Is a Fountain
traditional, 1772
Everywhere I Go
traditional, pre-1865
Everywhere I go - Everywhere I go, my children - Everywhere I go - Somebody's talking about Jesus
When the Lord came down to set us free from sin - He was born as a baby in Bethlehem - At the door of the inn they turned his mother away - When her son stands a-knocking are you gonna do the same?
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God called the shepherds and the wismen too - They didn't waste no time when they heard the news - They followed the star to where the baby lay - Singin glory hallelujah it's a brand new day
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Sussex Carol
traditional, 1684
Lori Arthur - guitar, vocals
Reed Sutton
- bass
Spiro Tsingaris
- fiddle, vocals, percussion
Rich Ferguson
- dobro, banjo, vocals
Max Butler
- guitar, vocals
Greg Arthur
- mandolin, vocals, executive producer
Jose Alvarez - recording, engineering
Kelly Alterman - artwork
Sean Coleman
- digital mixing and mastering
CDMan - production
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Old-Time Christmas. 

So many of Christmas songs like these from our American gospel tradition are starkly beautiful.  Many are also surprisingly mysterious and mournful, with dark words of unrest that quickly go from the manger, through suffering and persecution, to death on the cross.  Perhaps that may explain why there are only a handful of slave spiritual Christmas songs (some scholars believe there aren't any at all), why for some reason a desire to sing about the birth of Christ did not or perhaps could not arise from the experience of slavery.  All this is certainly in stark contrast to the seasonal holidaymusic of popular culture hearlding in the "most wonderful time of the year", with cheerful songs about "winter wonderlands" on around-the-clock radio stations.  It would seem the good news of the birth or our Savior would have always inspired this sort of cheer.  So why are the tradional Christmas songs, not only from America but also from Britain, Ireland, and ex-British colonies, often darker in the lyrics and sometimes in the music?  Traditional gospel seems all so upside down.  It's the
funeral songs from our American gospel tradition are uplifting, and full of hope, and heaven, Hosannas, and Gloryland
We Shall Walk/
Heard it from Heaven
traditional, pre-1865
Review of
Mary Had a Baby
We shall shall through the valley in the shadow of death - We shall walk through the valley in peace - With Jesus Himself as our leader - We shall walk through the valley in peace
Travel on my weary soul
I heard it from heaven today - Travel on my weary soul - I heard it from heaven today - Hurry on my weary soul
I heard it from heaven today - Hurry on my weary soul - I heard if from heaven today
The Savior was born a helpless child - I heard it from heaven today - Came for the fearful and beguiled - I heard it from heaven today
Fear not my children it is I - I heard if from heaven today - Take heart my Kingdom has come nigh - I heard it from heaven today
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His blood ran down upon my soul - I heard it from heaven today - He makes me clean and makes me whole - I heard it from heaven today
Trumpet sounds in the far bright land - I heard it from heaven today - Soon I'll hold my Savior's hand - I heard it from heaven today
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Perhaps the songwriters and carolers viewed life and death and eternity in the same way as our Savior Jesus did, that in reality, He came as our ransom from sin and death and that Christmas is the awful consequence of the Fall.  Perhaps they can also see what Jesus later said about not being surprised in this world that we are hated because He was hated first.  For the story of Christmas is that this King Jesus, the glorious only Son of God, came to earth in mystery as a baby, in order to die condemned for our sins, so that we might be saved.  The Christmas story is really the only compelling story of history, the one that all other stories retell in some way, and it is a painful one to grasp, that the righteous King dies for condemned sinners.

It is our hope that these songs may truthfully convey the gospel arising from the good news that in Bethlehem, in the City of David,
Mary Had a Baby.
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Recorded Live at the Catacombs in San Francisco
Hail the blest morn, see the great mediator - Down from the regions of glory descend - Shephereds go worship the babe in the manger - Lo, for his guard bright angels attend
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning - Dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid - Star in the east, the horizon adorning - Guide where our infant redeemer is laid
Now let us yield him in loving devotion - Fruit of the orchard and offerings divine - Gems from the mountain and pearls from the ocean - Myrrh from the forest and gold from the mine
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Sweet little Jesus Boy - Born a long time ago - Sweet little Holy Child - We didn't know who You were - Didn't know you come to save us, Lord - To take our sins away - Our eyes were blind - We could not see - We didn't know who You were
Long time ago, Lord - You were born - Born in a manger - Sweet little Jesus Boy - The world sure treat you mean dear Lord - Treat me mean, too - But that's the way - Things are down here - We don't know who You are
You done showed us how - We're a-trying - Master, You done showed us how - Even when you were dying - Just seem like we can't do right - Look how we treated You - But please, sir, forgive us Lord - We didn't know it was You
Sweet little Jesus Boy - Born a long time ago - Sweet little Holy Child - We didn't know who You were
Good people all this Christmastime - Consider well and bear in mind - What our good God for us has done - In sending His beloved Son - With Mary holy we should pray - To God with love this Christmas day - For unto us that happy morn - There was a bless'd Messiah born
The night before that happy tide - The noble virgin and her guide - Were long time seeking up and down - To find a lodging in the town - But mark how all things came to pass - From every door repelled, alas - As long foretold their refuge all - Was but an humble ox's stall
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep - Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep - To whom God's angels did appear - Which put the shepherds in great fear - "Prepare and go", the angel said - "To Bethlehem be not afraid - For there you'll find, this blessed morn - A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born"
With thankful hearts and joyful minds - The shepherds went the babe to find - And as God's angels had foretold
They did our Savior Christ behold - T'was in a manger He was laid - And by His side the virgin maid - Attended on the Lord of light - Who came to earth to give us life
instrumental

On Christmas night all Christians sing - To hear the news the angels bring - On Christmas night all Christians sing - To hear the news the angels bring - News of great joy news of great mirth - News of our merciful King's birth
Then why should men on earth be so sad - Since our Redeemer made us glad - Then why should men on earth be so sad - Since our Redeemer made us glad - When from our sin He set us free - All for to gain our liberty
When sin departs beford His grace - Then life and health come in its place - When sin departs before His grace - Then life and health come in its place - Angels and men with joy may sing - All for to see the new born King
All out of darkness we have light - Which made the angels sing this night - All out of darkness we have light - Which made the angels sing this night - Glory to God and peace to men - Now and forever more, Amen
instrumental

I saw three ships come sailing in - On Christmas day on Christmas day - I saw three ships come sailing in - On Christmas day in the morning
And what was in those ships all three - On Christmas day on Christmas day - And what in those ships all three - On Christmas day in the morning
Our Savior Christ and His lady - On Christmas day on Christmas day - Our Savior Christ and His lady On Christmas day in the morning
And all the bells on earth shall ring - On Christmas day on Christmas day - And all the bells on earth shall ring - On Christmas day in the morning
There is a fountain filled with blood - Drawn from Immanuel's veins - And sinners plunged benearth that flood - Lose all their guilty stains
The dying thief rejoiced to see - That fountain in his day - And there may I though vile as he - Wash all my sins away
Dear dying Lamb Thy precious blood - Shall never lose its power - Till all the ransomed church of God - Be saved to sin no more
I When this poor lisping stammering tongue - Lies silent in the grave - Then in a nobler sweeter song - I'll sing Thy power to save
Then in a nobler sweeter song - I'll sing Thy power to save
Review of
Mary Had a Baby
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Information
About the Songs