Nursery Rhymes

The First Noel

The First Noel Lyrics and Music

The inspirational words and lyrics of this cherished hymn begin with "The First Noel, the Angels did say" as the first words of this famous Christmas Carol. The name of the author of the lyrics and words of this ancient English Christmas Carol, 'The First Noel', is unknown but it is likely to have been written in Latin by a member of a Medieval religious order dating back to the 13th century. In 1823, William B. Sandys (1792-1874), and Davies Gilbert (1767-1839) added English lyrics to create the version of the song that we sing today. We hope you enjoy the lyrics of this merry Christmas carol.

The First Noel Hymn

Title: The First Noel *** Name of Composer: Unknown *** Name Author / Writer of Lyrics: Unknown *** Hymns Category: Christmas Carols

History of 'The First Noel' Christmas Carol

The history of this joyful festive song reflects the use of the late 14th century word 'nowel' meaning the "feast of Christmas," from Old French word 'noel' from the Latin verb 'nasci' meaning “to be born.” In the book of Ecclesiastes, the birth of Jesus is called 'natalis' from which we get 'Nativity'.

The First Noel Lyrics

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Information about the Hymn
Title of Hymn: The First Noel
Author of Lyrics: Unknown
Name of Composer of Music: Unknown
Hymn Category: Christmas Carols
First Line of Hymn: "The First Noel, the Angels did say..."
First Publication Date: 1833 in 'Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern' by William Sandys

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