Folk songs

A Marvel at Daybreak

The Sound Archie's Land Rover.
The Sound Archie's Land Rover.

A marvel at daybreak came the worthy Saviour,
He appeared in Bethlehem and He is Christ the Lord.
The sheperds were told how strange was the sight:
Finding the Eternal Father in an oxen's manger.
He left his father's throne and the bliss of heaven's land
And came so low, where an animal feeds, from amazingly gracious love.
The Wise Men of fair worthy tongue came to seek Jesus,
They received the light of a fair star in the east to guide them on their way.

The angels proclaimed the birth of the Divine One, The Godhead in Manhood wearing man's nature.
He descended from heaven to earth to a vocal proclamation:
"Peace on earth! Glory to the God of Heaven!"
Our worthy King and Brother came here in the flesh,
Without crib or parlour our Creator came humbly from the Virgin.
The firm promise of Eden arrived in the world in time
To destroy the enticing whole work of the Devil, which was th greatbr/>purpose of his journey.

SFNHM Tape 625. Collected (stanzas 1 and 2 only) 25.6.63 from John Roberts (farmer, b. 1901), Cerddin, Llanymawddwy, Merioneth.


Another Christmas carol transmitted within the Perthyfelin family of Dinas Mawddwy. The singer had never seen the carol in print but the text was preserved in family notebooks. The author is named in these as 'William Edwards, Cae Coch': he might well have been William Edwards (1806–69), Cae Coch, of Rhyd–y–main near Dolgellau. Occasional internal rhymes and initial consonance echo – if only rather faintly – the traditional devices of the alliterative carol in Wales. The text observes a formula well–known in Welsh carols. Following the first two stanzas attention is switched from the Nativity itself; pausing only briefly with the miracles and healing acts of Christ, the carol then relates the story of the Crucifixion and its aftermath, before closing with the customary invitation to repentance. The tune given above was named as 'Cwplws Dau' or 'Couple Two'; originally this might well have referred in some way to the form or metre involved.

For a general note upon traditional Welsh Christmas carols, see under Song No. 5 above.

Click here to download the music to A Marvel at Daybreak
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