From Virgin's womb - Rejoice rejoice (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #04252:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2002-12-02).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 112 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Feb 09. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: From Virgin's Womb – Rejoice rejoice
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SSAA
Genre: SacredCarol

Language: English
Instruments: String ensemble

4 viols (TrTTB) with solo, a cappella (chorus)

Published: 1589 in Songs of sundrie natures, nos. 35 & 24

Description: A 'carowle' for Christmas day

Alto solo with viol consort: From Virgin's womb
Chorus: Rejoice, rejoice

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

From Virgin’s womb this day did spring
The precious seed that saved man,
This day let man rejoice and sweetly sing
Since on this day salvation first began,
This day did Christ man’s soul from death remove
With glorious saints to dwell in heaven above.
Rejoice, rejoice, with heart and voice,
In Christ his birth this day rejoice.

This day to man came pledge of perfect peace,
This day to man came love and unity,
This day man’s grief began for to surcease,
This day did man receive a remedy
For each offence and every deadly sin
With guilty heart that erst he wandered in.

In Christ his flock let love be surely placed,
From Christ his flock let concord hate expel,
Of Christ his flock let love be so embraced,
As we in Christ, and Christ in us, may dwell.
Christ is the author of sweet unity,
From whence proceedeth all felicity.

O sing unto this glittering glorious king,
O praise his name let every living thing,
Let heart and voice like bells of silver ring
The comfort that this day to man doth bring,
Let Lute, let Shalm, with sound of sweet delight
These joys of Christ his birth this day recite.

Francis Kindlemarsh (published 1578 in The paradyse of daynty devises).

The text reproduced here is as printed after the music in the part-books;
the version of verse 1 actually set by Byrd is somewhat different, as may be seen in the score.