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The Wexford Carol

A Traditional Irish Christmas Carol

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The Wexford Carol - History

The Wexford Carol is a beloved traditional Irish Christmas carol. It is also known as "The Enniscorthy Carol", as it was originally collected by a folklorist named Grattan Flood in Enniscorthy, a town in Ireland's County Wexford, as well as "Carul Loch Garman" (the Irish translation of "Wexford Carol"). The lyrics, which are in English, date back to the 12th century. As is the case with all very old songs, the history is a bit hard to track, but it appears that the lyrics were added to the tune much later, and it is not believed that the lyrics were originally in the Irish language. Some reverse translations have been made by contemporary Irish trad musicians, but the English lyrics are actually the most traditional ones.

The Wexford Carol - Lyrics

Good people all, this Christmas time,
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
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed 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 right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

The Wexford Carol - Essential Recordings
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