Lyrics brought to you by Segnbora-t

Traditional English Christmas carol, also known as "When Joseph Was A-Walking" and several other titles. I always liked this one, as it portrays a more human side to its characters than most Christmas carols: jealous Joseph, annoyed Mary, etc. There are a tremendous number of verses; here are some of the more common. (Alternate wordings for the same part of the narrative are in parentheses.)

When Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he,
He courted (married) Virgin Mary,
The Queen of Galilee.

Mary spoke to Joseph
So meek and so mild
(With her sweet lips so mild)
Joseph, gather me some cherries
For I am with child.
(For to give to my child)

Then Joseph flew in anger,
In anger he flew;
Let the father of the baby
Gather the cherries for you.

(O, then replied Joseph
With words so unkind,
I will pluck no cherries
for to give thy child.)

Then up spoke baby Jesus,
All in his mother's womb
Bow you down low, you cherry tree,
While Mary gathers some.

(Mary said to cherry tree,
"Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries,
By one, two and three.")

The cherry tree bowed down,
So low to the ground;
And Mary gathered cherries
While Joseph stood around.

(The uppermost sprig then
Bowed down to her knee:
"Thus you may see, Joseph,
These cherries are for me.")

Then Joseph took Mary
All on his left knee;
Saying: Lord have mercy upon me
For what I have done.

Then Joseph took Mary
All on his right knee;
Pray tell me, little baby,
When your birthday shall be.

On the fifth day of January *
My birthday shall be,
When the clouds and the elements
Will tremble with fear.

As Joseph was a-walking,
He heard the angels sing,
"This night there shall be born
Our Heavenly King."

* Several sources claim that this was the date of Christmas before the Gregorian Calendar was put into place.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.