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December 11

"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" has two tunes, and I have played the more common "London" tune here, which is the second version in the Oxford Book of Carols. There are also several sets of lyrics, and the ones I've shown are actually a combination of the two versions in the Oxford Book of Carols. This was not the easiest tune to play on the banjo, so I didn't play all eight verses.

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God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

Words: Traditional English
Music: English carol ("London" tune, version two from the Oxford Book of Carols)

God rest you merry, gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay.
For Jesus Christ our Savior Was born on Christmas Day,
To save us all from Satan's power, When we were gone astray.

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father A blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born The Son of God by name.


"Fear not," then said the Angel, "Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior, Of virtue, power, and might;
So frequently to vanquish all, The friends of Satan quite";


The shepherds at those tidings Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a feeding, In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway, This blessed babe to find.


Now when they came to Bethlehem, Where our sweet Savior lay,
They found him in a manger, Where oxen feed on hay,
The blessed Virgin kneeling down, Unto the Lord did pray.


With sudden joy and gladness, The shepherds were beguiled,
To see the Babe of Israel, Before His mother mild,
On them with joy and cheerfulness, Rejoice each mother's child.


Now to the Lord sing praises, All you within this place,
Like we true loving brethren, Each other to embrace,
For the merry time of Christmas, Is drawing on a pace.


God bless the ruler of this house, And send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas May live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred, That live both far and near.

And God send you a happy New Year, happy New Year;
And God send you a happy New Year.

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