Music For Advent; O Great

Joseph and Mary (The Cherry Tree Carol)Saint Joseph

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

Joseph and Mary
Walk through an orchard green,
There were are cherries and berries
As thick as might be seen.
There were are cherries and berries
As thick as might be seen.

Mary said to Joseph,
So meek and so mild,
“Joseph, gather me some cherries
For I am with child.”
“Joseph, gather me some cherries
For I am with child.”

Then Joseph flew in anger —
In anger flew he,
“Let the father of the baby
Gather cherries for thee!”
“Let the father of the baby
Gather cherries for thee!”

Then up spoke baby Jesus,
From in his mother’s womb,
“Bow low, low cherry tree;
Bow low down, to the ground!”
He said “Bow low, low cherry tree;
Bow low down, to the ground!”

Then the cherry tree bowed low down,
Low down to the ground,
Then Mary gathered cherries
While Joseph stood around,The+Charity+of+Jesus+is+extended+to+all.+Bouasse+Lebel+3324
And Mary gathered cherries
While Joseph stood around.

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

“On the sixth day of January
My birthday shall be,
When the stars and the elements
Shall tremble with glee;
When the stars and the elements
Shall tremble with glee.”

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

He did say the sixth of January would be his birthday, but I’ve already written about that scandal. The thing I miss in this Child Ballad is the sixth verse:

Then Joseph took Mary
All on his left knee;
Saying: “What have I done? Lord,
Have mercy on me!
What have I done? Lord,
Have mercy on me!”

Here’s the Great O for the day:

Latin:

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

English:

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Or, as Loreena Mckennitt puts it:Key

Emmanuel

Veni, veni, Emanuel:
Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio

Gaude! Gaude! Emanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni veni, O Oriens;
Solare nos adveniens;
Noctis depelle nebulas,
Dirasque noctis tenebras.
Gaude! Gaude! Emanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, Clavis Davidica;
Regna reclude celica;
Fac iter tutum superum,
Et claude vias inferum.

Gaude! Gaude! Emanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni, Adonai,
Qui populo in Sina
Legem dedisiti vertice
In maiestate glorie.

Gaude! Gaude! Emanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Yep, It’s still in Latin. Thanks Loreena!

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