A virgin unspotted, the prophets foretold,
Should bring forth a Saviour which now we behold;
To be our Redeemer from death, hell and sin,
Which Adams' transgression involved us in.
Then let us be merry, cast sorrow away,
Our Saviour Christ Jesus, was born on this day.
Through Bethlehem City, in Jewry it was,
That Jospeh and Mary together did pass;
And for to be tax-ed when thither they came,
For Caesar Augustus commanded the same.
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
(The tune "Admiral Benbow", from Chappel, Popular Music,etc, p642, who says that it was sung at Marden, nere Hereford, to the words "A Virgin Unspotted.")
The rest of the words are the same as the Northamptonshire carol, "In Bethlehem City"
Roud: 1378 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: Admiral Benbow (melodic) In Bethlehem City (thematic)