23 December - Unto Us is Born a Son

Yesterday - Up - Tomorrow

Another carol from the Piae Cantiones collection here, originally titled in Latin Puer nobis nascitur. This carol looks ahead three days from Christmas to the slaughter of the innocents by Herod, whose thirty-year rule was marked by fear of replacement as King. His son Herod Antipas would go on to be a significant figure in the Passion story.

Unto us is born a son,
King of choirs supernal:
See on earth his life begun,
Of lords the Lord eternal,
Of lords the Lord eternal.

Christ, from heav'n descending low,
Comes on earth a stranger;
Ox and ass their owner know
Becradled in a manger,
Becradled in a manger.

This did Herod sore affray,
And grievously bewilder,
So he gave the word to slay,
And slew the little childer,
And slew the little childer.

Of his love and mercy mild
This, the Christmas story,
And O that Mary's gentle child
Might lead us up to glory,
Might lead us up to glory.

O and A and A and O,
Cum cantibus in choro,
Let the merry organ go
Benedicamus Domino,
Benedicamus Domino!