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Christmas Carols, New and Old028
Joseph Was an Old ManTraditional Carol

Hymn NumberTuneComposer or SourceMeter
028The Cherry Tree CarolTraditional CarolIrregular

1Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he;
He married sweet Mary,
The Queen of Galilee.
2As they went a walking
In the garden so gay,
Maid Mary spied cherries
Hanging over yon tree.
3Mary said to Joseph,
With her sweet lips so mild,
“Pluck those cherries, Joseph,
For to give to thy Child.”
4“O then,” replied Joseph,
With words so unkind,
“I will pluck no cherries,
For to give to thy Child.”
5Mary said to cherry tree,
“Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries,
By one two and three.”
6The uppermost sprig then
Bowed down to her knee:
“Thus you may see, Joseph,
These cherries are for me.”
7“O eat your cherries, Mary,
O eat your cherries now,
O eat your cherries, Mary,
That grow upon the bough.”
8As Joseph was a walking
He heard Angels sing,
“This night there shall be born
Our heavenly King.
9“He neither shall be born
In house nor in hall,
Nor in the place of Paradise,
But in an ox-stall.
10“He shall not be clothèd
In purple nor pall;
But all in fair linen,
As wear babies all.
11“He shall not be rockèd
In silver nor gold,
But in a wooden cradle
That rocks on the mold.
12“He neither shall be christened
In milk nor in wine,
But in pure spring-well water,
Fresh sprung from Bethine.”
13Mary took her Baby,
She dressed Him so sweet,
She laid Him in a manger
All there for to sleep.
14As she stood over Him
She heard Angels sing,
“Oh! Bless our dear Savior,
Our heavenly King.”

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