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The first good joy that Mary had, It was the joy of one,
To see her own son Jesus Christ to suck at the breastbone,
To suck at the breastbone, O Lord, and bless-ed may we be.
This brings tidings, sweet comfort and joy, and great joy,
This brings tidings, sweet comfort and joy.

The next ... two ... to read the Bible through.

The next ... three ... to make the blind to see.

The next ... four ... to say the Bible o'er.

The next ... five ... to raise the dead alive.

The next ... six ... to bear the crucifix.

The next ... seven ... to eat the bread of Heaven.

The next ... eight ... to make the crooked straight.

The next ... nine ... to turn water into wine.

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Source: Palmer, Roy, Bushes and Briars, LLanerch, 1999

This was collected from Mr Wiltshire from the workhouse , Royston, Hertforshire in 1907 by Vaughan Williams.

The number of joys varies. In the fourteenth century there were five, which became seven in the fifteenth. These were the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Christ found by his mother, the assumption and the coronation of the Virgin. (In Catholic tradition, one of the decades of the Rosary is called 'The Joyful Mysteries' and these are the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple and Christ found by his mother in the temple).

During the eighteenth and nineteenth century the number extended as high as twelve.

Roud: 278 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  Ten Joys of Mary (thematic)

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