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Middle English Lyrics: Sing We To This Merry Company

Coronation of the Virgin, Medieval French Manuscript, c1380
Coronation of the Virgin. c1380.

Sing We To This Merry Company

      :: Synge we to thys mery cumpane:
        Regina celi, letare.::

Holy maide, blessyd thou be;
Godys sone is born of the,
The fader of heven, thus lyve we:
      Regina celi, letare.

Thow art emperesse of heaven, fre;
Now art thou moder in mageste,
Y-knytte in the blessed trinite;
      Regina celi, letare.

Hayl wyf, hayl maide, bright of ble!
Hayl doughter, hail suster ful of pite!
Hayl cosyn to the persones thre!
      Regina celi, letare.

Lo, this curteys Kynge of degre
Wole be thy sone with solempnite:
Mylde Mary, this ys thy fee.
      Regina celi, letare.

Ther fore knele we on oure kne;
Thy blysful berthe now worshype we
With this songe of melode:
      Regina celi, letare.

Audio Excerpt by the Purcell Consort from the album
Early Music and Poetry, available through iTunes.

For the direct .MP3 file, click here.

[AJ Notes:]

Regina celi, letare, Queen of Heaven, rejoice!
thus lyve we, thus we live (eternally, because of Christ).
Thow art, you are.
fre, freely; wholly.
moder in mageste, mother in majesty.
Y-knytte, tied.
wyf, wife.
bryght of ble, bright of hue; brightly shining.
doughter, daughter.
suster, sister.
ful of pite, full of mercy.
cosyn, cousin.
persones thre, persons three, i.e. "three-personed God" (Father, Son, Holy Ghost).
curteys, courteous.
of degre, of the highest rank.
Wole, will.
solempnite, ceremony.
fee, payment; reward.
blysful berthe, blessed birth.

Thumbnail of the Selden Manuscript
Image of Bodleian Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. 26., fol. 10v.

Transcribed and glossed from the manuscript by Anniina Jokinen.


Jokinen, Anniina, ed. "Sing We To This Merry Company." Luminarium.
          24 Nov 2009. [Date you accessed this page].

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