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Middle English Lyrics: Good Day, Sire Christmas

Adoration of the Shepherds. Manuscript illumination, 1500
Adoration of the Shepherds, c1500.

:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Good day, Syre Christemas, our kyng,
For every man, both olde & yinge,
Ys glad & blithe of your comynge;
Go day!
:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Godys sone so moche of myght
Ffram heven to erthe down is lyght
And borne ys of a mayde so bryght;
Good day!
:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Heven & erthe & also helle,
And alle that ever in hem dwelle,
Of your comynge they beth ful snelle;
Good day!
:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Of your comynge this clerkys fynde:
Ye come to save al mankynde
And of her balys hem unbynde;
Good day!
:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Alle maner of merthes we wole make
And solas to oure hertys take,
My semely lorde, for your sake;
Good day!
:: Go day, go day,
    My lord Syre Christemasse, go day! ::

Audio Excerpt from the CD
Medieval Christmas by Pro Cantione Antiqua

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.


Go day, good day.
yinge, young.
Godys sone, God's son.
moche, much; great.
myght, might; power.
Ffram, from.
is lyght, has alit.
in hem dwelle, in them dwelled.
beth, be.
ful snelle, very good; well-behaved.
clerkys, scholars.
her balys hem unbynde, their sins them release.
Alle maner of merthes, all kinds of revelry.
wole, will.
solas, comfort; joy.
hertys, hearts.
semely, honoured; worthy of respect; virtuous.

Manuscript Image of Bodleian MS. Arch. Selden B. 26, fol. 8r.

Transcribed and glossed from the manuscript by Anniina Jokinen.


Jokinen, Anniina, ed. "Goday, My Lord Sire Christmas." Luminarium.
          27 Nov 2009. [Date you accessed this page].

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