All You Who Are To Mirth Inclined
Words and Music: Traditional English
Let All That Are To Mirth
(From Gilbert, With Additional Notes)
This version is a compilation from various sources. The original carol consisted of 28 verses, and appeared in "The Garland of Good-Will." Originally published in 1593 by Thomas Deloney, it was republished a number of times after his death in 1600, with additional material by subsequent editors. This carol appeared in one of those later editions; it is believed that Deloney was not the author. The name of the author is unknown. I do not have access to the original.
The original formed the basis for various versions which have appeared over the centuries. Davies Gilbert, in 1822, reprinted 16 of the original 28 as a Christmas carol. Dearmer, Shaw and Williams, in 1928, added an additional five verses. Finally, William Harrison, in 1873, reprinted 22 verses (see A New Christmas Carol from the Mona Miscellany, originally printed by the Manx Society). It is from these three sources that the following compilation is made.
The verses preceded by a roman numeral are from Harrison. Verses from Gilbert are found in square brackets; verses from Dearmer which are the same as Harrison are noted, with three significantly different verses following the main listing.
Gilbert contains the first 11 verses reproduced below, with substantially the same language (although not exactly the same). Dearmer has verses 1 and 2, plus others as noted. Neither the version collected by Cecil Sharp [The Sinner's Redemption], nor the version collected by R. Vaughan Williams [The Birth of the Saviour] contains any additional verses.
All you who are to mirth inclined,
Consider well, and bear in mind
What your great God for you hath done,
In sending his beloved Son.
Let all your songs and praises be
Unto his Heavenly Majesty;
And evermore among your mirth
Remember Christ and his blesít birth.
The five and twentieth of December,
Great cause have we to remember,
In Bethlehem upon this morn
There was a blesít Messiah born.
The night before that happy tide
The spotless Virgin, and her guide,
Were long time seeking up and down
To find out lodging in the town.
And mark how all things came to pass;
They in the lodgings so full was,
That they could find no room at all
But in the oxís sully stall.
Wherein the Virgin Mary mild
Was safe delivered of a Child
According to high Heavenís decree
He was manís Saviour to be.
Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
With watchful care their flocks of sheep
So, when an angel did appear,
Which filled all their hearts with fear.
" Prepare to go," the angel said,
" To Bethlehem, be not afraid
There shall you see, this blessed morn,
The heavenly babe, sweet Jesus, born."
With thankful hearts and joyful mind,
The shepherds went this babe to find
And as before the angel told,
They did our Saviour Christ behold.
Within a manger he was laid,
And by his side the Virgin stayed,
Attending on the Lord of life,
Being both mother, maid, and wife.
[11. Three Eastern wise men from afar,
Directed by a glorious star;
Came boldly on, and made no stay
Until they came where Jesus lay.]
[12. And being come unto the place
Whereas the blessed Messiah was,
They humbly laid before His feet
Their gifts of gold and odours sweet.]
[13. See how the Lord of Heaven and earth
Showed himself lowly in His birth;
A sweet example for mankind,
To learn to bear an humble mind.]
[14. No costly robes nor rich attire,
Did Jesus Christ our Lord desire;
No music nor sweet harmony,
Till glorious music from on high]
[15. Did in melodious manner sing,
Praises unto our Heavenly King;
All honour, glory, might, and pow'r
Be unto Christ, our Saviour!]
If choirs of angels did rejoice,
Well may mankind with heart and Voice
Sing praises to the God of Heaven,
For he to us his Son hath given.
Moreover, let us every one
Call unto mind, and think upon
His righteous life, and how he died,
That sinners might be justified. [Also verse 3 from Dearmer]
Suppose, O man, that thou should be
In prison strong, condemníd to die,
And had no friends upon the earth
Would ransom you from cruel death.
Except you could some person find,
That unto you would be so kind,
As would you free redemption give,
Would die himself, that you might live.
Such was the act of Christ, when we
Were doomed to endless misery,
To save us from the gulph of woe,
Himself much pain did overflow.
While in this world he did remain
He did not spend one hour in vain;
To fasting, and to prayers divine,
He mostly did devote his time. [Also verse 3 from Dearmer]
He in the Temple daily taught,
And many miracles he wrought;
He gave the blind their perfect sight,
And caused the lame to walk upright. [Also verse 4 from Dearmer]
He cured the lepers of their evils,
And by his power he cast out devils;
He raised Lazarus from the dead,
And to the sick their health restored. [See verse 5 below]
But yet, for all these wonders wrought,
The Jew his dire destruction brought;
And Judas, who did with him stay,
Did, with a kiss, his Lord betray.
Then he was taken by the Jews,
Who did him wrongfully accuse,
And pass the sentence then, that he
Should suffer death upon a tree.
They led him then unto the cross,
And thereupon he nailed was;
They scornfully did him deride,
And thrust a spear into his side. [See verse 6 below]
Then never let us cease to sing,
With grateful hearts unto our King,
Who hath so freely shed his blood,
Only to do us sinners good. [See verse 7 below]
The following verses from Dearmer, Shaw and Williams, The Oxford Book of Carols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1928) differ substantially from the verses reprinted above from Harrison.
5. He raised Lazarus from the grave,
And to the sick their health he gave.
But yet for all these wonders wrought,
The priests his dire destruction sought.
6. With vile reproachful taunts and scorns
They crowned him with a wreath of thorns:
Then to the cross through hands and feet
They nailed our blest Redeemer sweet;
7. Thus have you seen and heard aright,
The love of Christ, the Lord of might;
And how he shed his precious blood,
Only to do us sinners good.
Note from Harrison:
This rude old carol is from an old MS. copy of about the middle of last [18th] century, and was a favourite one in country districts. Various versions have been printed in works on Christmas Carols, but this appears to extend much farther than any I have met with.
Editor's Note: There are a number of carols on this website with similar titles or lyrical themes, and some of which are derived from a single source:
All You That Are To Mirth Inclined (Sandys, 1833)
All You That Are To Mirth Inclined, saved under the title The Birth of the Saviour (R. Vaughan Williams, Eight Traditional English Carols, 1919)
All You That Are Unto Mirth Inclined, saved under the title The Sinner's Redemption (Cecil Sharp, English-Folk Carols, 1911). Sharp reproduced the following verses in English Folk-Carols (London: Novello & Co., 1911): 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16.
All You That To Feasting and Mirth Are Inclin'd (Sandys, 1833)
All You That To Feasting and Mirth Are Inclin'd, saved under the title
All You Who Are To Mirth Inclined - Fuller Version - A compilation from various sources.
Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined (Davies Gilbert, 1823 and others)
Let All That Are To Mirth Inclined, Broadside from the Roxburghe Collection saved under the title A New Christmas Carol.
All You That Are Good Fellows (Husk, 1868)