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Christmas Carols

 

If you can recite a song from memory, you can practise visualising your shorthand, without pen and paper. Although the language of these carols may not be modern, you will still get valuable practice of the commonest words.

Carols make very good slow and even dictation, the ultimate being the lengthy "Gloria" that takes at least 5 seconds to sing (in "Ding Dong"). Refrains and choruses seem to be tailor-made for shorthand drill practice. If you print the PDF, as soon as a carol is within earshot you can follow along reading the shorthand or tracing lightly over the outlines with a hard pencil. Your confidence and bravery may even extend to replacing your carol service song sheet with a shorthand version! Alertness is still required, as the words and number of verses given here, and sung elsewhere, may vary from your memory of them.

Christmas Cards Wordings for your shorthand Christmas card greetings can be found amongst the songs here and you can write out or use snippets of the shorthand JPGs (and photos) if you wish to create your personal home-made cards. Everyone will know you are studying Pitman's Shorthand and maybe some long-forgotten shorthand books will emerge from dusty storage from older members of the family or friends!   Free PDF downloads Colour and Cut Out Christmas Cards and Pictures, movie title
Details at end of page
 

Page contents:

Vocabulary List of a few of the less common words.

Angels From The Realms Of Glory

Angels, from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye, who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Shepherds in the field abiding
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing;
Yonder shines the Infant-Light:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

All creation, join in praising
God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
Evermore your voices raising
To th’eternal Three in One.
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

Vapour trails – from airplanes or angels?
Wing your flight o'er all the earth

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Away In A Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

Flowers in Victorian walled garden in Stockwood Park, Luton, UK  Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Smart waste bin, Greenwich Park, London
Victorian walled garden at Stockwood Park Luton, and regal waste bin in Greenwich Park, London
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there

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Ding Dong! Merrily On High

Ding dong! Merrily on high,
In heav'n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! Verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

E'en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And "Io, io, io!"*
By priest and people sungen.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

Pray you, dutifully* prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully* rime
Your evetime song, ye singers.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

*
“Io io io” Writing separate signs shows the exact sounds, although it could be equally well be written with a tick on the diphthong instead

* "dutifully" Written thus, and not halved, to distinguish it from "beautifully"

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Dawn over Orpington, Kent
Verily the sky is riven with angels singing

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.

Refrain:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy


In Bethlehem in Israel
This blessèd Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessèd morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn     Refrain

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessèd Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.     Refrain

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright*,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."     Refrain

The shepherds at those* tidings
Rejoicèd much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind*:
And went to Bethlehem straightway*
The Son of God to find.     Refrain

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.     Refrain

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface*.     Refrain

* "affright" The outline for "fright" uses a reversed Fr stroke

* “at those” – insert the vowel in “those”, as “these” would also make sense.

* "wind" This word expects the poetic pronunciation to rhyme with "mind"

* “straightway” – this and “straightaway” are both in the dictionary as one outline. As you cannot indicate the absence of a vowel, “way” is here shown disjoined and on the line, in order to indicate its first vowel.

* “deface” is used in its archaic sense of “efface, outshine”.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Town Lock gates, River Medway, Tonbridge, Kent
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan's power and might*

* "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." Luke 10 v 19 (NIV)

"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2 v 14-15 (NIV)

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Good Christian Men Rejoice

Good Christian men rejoice
With heart and soul and voice!
Give ye heed to what we say
News! News!
Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before Him bow
And He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice
Now ye hear of endless* bliss
Joy! Joy!
Jesus Christ was born for this.
He has opened* the heavenly door
And man is blessed for evermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace! Peace!
Jesus Christ was born to save
Calls you one and calls you all
To gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!

* "endless" Note the distinguishing outline for "needless" which has full N and D strokes

* "opened" You may come across the poetic version "op'ed"

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Gate to Vine Cricket Club, Sevenoaks, Kent
He has opened the heavenly door

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Good King Wenceslas Looked Out

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring* winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st* it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear them thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly,
Thou shalt* find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

* "gath'ring"  "know'st" The apostrophe was used in past times to signify omission of that syllable, to help the reader or singer

* “thou shalt” – the short form for “shalt” is the same as “shall”, but is considered safe as it always follows “thou”. Alternatively, you could use the historical full outline (no longer in dictionary) as shown in the vocabulary list below.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: birds in snowy garden Crumbs and warm water for the visitors
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even

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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark!* The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

* “Hark! The ...” – tick “the” is used, as it is sung with the words run on with no pause. If it were not part of a song, a slight pause would be likely and then using “dot the” would be more appropriate

* "heav'n"  "ris'n" The apostrophe was used in past times to signify omission of that syllable, to help the reader or singer

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Stained glass window, Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent
Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings Hi Res version 2.15 MB

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In The Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But his mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Belovèd
With a kiss.

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Fishpond under snow Sluggish goldfish
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: robin birdbox in snow 5-star accommodation for robins
A stable place sufficed

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I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

Our Saviour Christ and His Lady,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Our Saviour Christ and His Lady,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day,
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Then let us all rejoice, amain,*
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Then let us all rejoice, amain,
On Christmas day in the morning.

* "amain” = archaic term = at full speed, with great haste

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Cheery Ted with Christmas sweets Cheery Ted with Christmas sweets
Then let us all rejoice, amain

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It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men*
From heaven's all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessèd angels sing.

O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own*
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

* “men" Insert the vowel, as “man” would also make sense.

* “own” is used in its archaic sense of “acknowledge" (It retains this meaning in the verb "to own up")

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: marigolds, municipal bedding, Hastings, Sussex
Look now, for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing

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Joy To The World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing, and Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Saviour reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love, and wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders of His love.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Author's garden My garden
No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground

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O Come All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels;

Refrain:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.


True God of true God,
Light from Light Eternal,
Lo, He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created;     Refrain

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God,
All glory in the highest;     Refrain

See how the shepherds,
Summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither
Bend our joyful footsteps;     Refrain

Lo! Star led chieftains,
Magi, Christ adoring,
Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child
Bring our hearts’ oblations.     Refrain

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing.     Refrain

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Pedham Place boot fair field, Kent
True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal

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O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Cumulus storm clouds over Orpington, Kent
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death's dark shadows put to flight

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O Holy Night! The Stars Are Brightly Shining

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd
* and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;*
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

* "appear'd" The apostrophe was used in past times to signify omission of that syllable, to help the reader or singer

* This unusual line may have been influenced by the anti-slavery movement in the early 1800s. The original French of Minuit Chretiéns was "Il voit un frère où n’était qu’un esclave = He (the Redeemer) sees a brother where there was only a slave" presumably referring to slavery to sin that Jesus came to release.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Dawn over Orpington, Kent
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

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O Little Town Of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell.
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel.

* “men” Insert the vowel, as “man” would also make sense

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Stained glass rose window in Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light   High res version 596 KB

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Once In Royal David's City

Once in royal David’s city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.

And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honour and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For He is our childhood's pattern;
Day by day, like us, He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
And He cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.

And our eyes at last* shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is* gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

* “at last” and "at least" Always insert the vowels in these

* “he is gone” Write “is” separately, because, if phrased, "he has" would also make sense

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Robin in snow Robin in my garden finding crumbs
He was little, weak, and helpless

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Daisies in grass
Where like stars His children crowned, all in white shall wait around

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Ring Out Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those* that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

* “for those” Insert the vowel in “those”, as “these” would also make sense

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Blustery sunset over Orpington, Kent
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Greenwich Meridian clock, home of Greenwich Mean Time Greenwich Mean Time, Royal Observatory Greenwich
The year is going, let him go

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See Amid The Winter's Snow

See amid the winter's snow,
Born for us on earth below,
See the tender Lamb appears,
Promised from eternal years.

Refrain:
Hail, thou ever-blessèd morn!
Hail, redemption's happy dawn!
Sing through all Jerusalem,
Christ is born in Bethlehem.


Lo, within a manger lies
He who built the starry skies;
He who throned in height sublime
Sits amid the cherubim.     Refrain

Say, ye holy shepherds, say
What your joyful news today;
Wherefore have ye left your sheep
On the lonely mountain steep?     Refrain

"As we watched at dead of night,
Lo, we saw a wondrous light;
Angels singing peace on earth
Told us of the Saviour's birth".     Refrain

Sacred infant, all divine,
What a tender love was thine,
Thus to come from highest bliss
Down to such a world as this.     Refrain

Teach, O teach us, Holy Child,
By Thy Face so meek and mild,
Teach us to resemble Thee,
In Thy sweet humility!     Refrain

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Sunset over Orpington, Kent
Lo, within a manger lies He who built the starry skies

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Silent Night Holy Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Dawn sun and snow shower over Orpington, Kent
Glories stream from heaven afar

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The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came

The angel Gabriel from Heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessèd mother thou shalt
* be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,
Most highly favoured lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy Name.”
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say—“Most highly favoured lady,” Gloria!

* “thou shalt” – the short form for “shalt” is the same as “shall”, but is considered safe as it always follows “thou”. Alternatively, you could use the historical full outline (no longer in dictionary) as shown in the vocabulary list below.

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Stained glass window in Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent Christ Church, Chislehurst, Kent
The angel Gabriel from Heaven came    High res version 1.8 MB

The First Nowell

The first Nowell 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.

Refrain:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell
Born is the King of Israel!


They lookèd 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.     Refrain

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.     Refrain

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.     Refrain

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.     Refrain

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That has made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.     Refrain

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Sun shining through clouds
And to the earth it gave great light and so it continued both day and night

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Unto Us A Boy Is Born

Unto us a Boy is born,
King of all creation:
Came He to a world forlorn,
The Lord of every nation.

Cradled in a stall was He
With sleepy cows and asses;
But the very beasts could see
That He all men surpasses.

Herod then with fear was filled:
“A prince,” he said, “in Jewry!”
All the little boys he killed
At Bethl’em* in his fury.

Now may Mary’s Son, who came
So long ago to love us,
Lead us all with hearts aflame
Unto the joys above us.

Omega and Alpha He!
Let the organ thunder,
While the choir with peals of glee
Rends the air asunder.

* "Bethl’em" Wavy underline differentiates this from the full “Bethlehem” which uses dot Hay (see vocabulary list below)

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: View over Snodland from Blue Bell Hill, near Rochester, Kent View from Blue Bell Hill, Rochester, Kent
King of all creation

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We Three Kings Of Orient Are

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse
* afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Refrain:
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.


Born a king on Bethlehem's plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign.     Refrain

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns* a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.     Refrain

Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.     Refrain

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice.
Alleluia, Alleluia
Sounds through the earth and skies.      Refrain

* "traverse" Keep the R hook small, so it does not look like "travels"

* “owns” is used in its archaic sense of “acknowledges” (It retains this meaning in the verb "to own up")

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Golden Showers rose Golden Showers rose
Gold I bring to crown Him again

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We Wish You A Merry Christmas

We wish* you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Refrain:
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer.     Refrain

We won't go until we get some;
We won't go until we get some;
We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here.     Refrain

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.     Refrain

* "We wish" You can differentiate between "we shall" and "we wish " by writing the Way stroke more shallowly for the latter, so that the Ish can go through the line for "wish"

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Yellow Teddy eating Christmas pudding Yellow Teddy ampling the Christmas victuals
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding

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While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around.

"Fear not," he said, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds,
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind."

"To you in David's Town this day
Is born of David's line
The Saviour who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign."

"The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed
And meanly wrapped in swathing bands
And in a manger laid."

Thus spake* the seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song

"All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth* from heaven to men
Begin and never cease!"

* “spake” Archaic past tense, insert the vowel to distinguish it from “spoke”

* "henceforth" Optional contraction

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Christmas tree angel decoration
The angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around

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Vocabulary List

Pitmans Shorthand Christmas Carols: Christmas lights
"shineth" - "
pleaseth" - "wondrous" !

If you would like to bring the birth of Jesus back into Christmas, you might be interested in these free downloads to make Nativity sets and Christmas Story pictures and cards, to print either in full colour, or in black and white for colouring/painting:

lucypaintbox.weathercharts.org/Colouring-Christmas-Bible.htm

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