“The First Nowell”

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:8-11

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.

And by the light of that same Star
Three Wisemen came from country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the Star wherever it went,
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

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

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there, in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense,
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

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 mankind hath bought.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.


The Shepherds and the Angel: Carl Bloch. Public Domain.
Lyrics: Christmas Carols New and Old (1871) compiled by Rev. H. R. Bramley, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and Dr. John Stainer, Organist, Magdalen College, Oxford.

Copyright ©2020–2021 Iwana Carpenter

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