Hark! The Herald Banjo Rings
The First Nowell
Performed by Katrin Ruppert (voice) and Karin Meyer-Jungclaussen (piano)
Words: Traditional English carol, 17th century
Music: THE FIRST NOWELL, English Carol
For Katrin's third song this year, she sings "The First Nowell" accompanied by Karin Meyer-Jungclaussen, the organist at her church, on a Kawai ES6 digital piano. Katrin used the version in "A Book of Christmas Carols" edited by Elizabeth Poston and Malcolm Williamson and illuminated by Jane Lydbury. This version was first published by William Sandys, harmonized by John Stainer, and adapted by Elizabeth Poston. Katrin says: "I am quite sure I bought this book after working for Emilie Heidel's family in 1989. I was taking care of Emilie and her sister when she was one year old! Before I left the States I found this book that is illustrated wonderfully!" I'm very glad both Katrin and Emily could contribute several songs to Hark! this year.
The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued 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;
O'er 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,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in His presence,
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood our life hath bought.
Sources and more information
- Presbyterian Hymnal, 1990.
- A Book of Christmas Carols, 1988.
- Hymns and Carols of Christmas