This text by Ben Jonson is often sung to Melita:
1 I sing the birth was born tonight,
The Author both of life and light:
The angels so did sound it;
And like the ravished shepherds said,
Who saw the light and were afraid,
Yet searched, and true they found it.
2 The Son of God, th’eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,
And freed the world from danger,
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Lord which heav’n and earth did make,
Was now laid in a manger.
3 The Father’s wisdom willed it so,
The Son’s obedience knew no “No,”
Both wills were in one stature;
And, as that wisdom hath decreed,
The Word was now made flesh indeed,
And took on Him our nature.
4 What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,
To make us heirs of glory!
To see this Babe, all innocence,
A martyr born in our defense–
Can man forget this story?
The hymnody geeks among you will note that this tune is 887 887, and Melita is 88 88 88. Awkward, eh?
So I wrote this, instead:
This has a calmer, gentler feel to it than Melita, and some slightly tricky corners which won’t be straightforward to begin with, but on the whole I like it.
The whole lot is CC BY-SA. Here’s more about why. That means you don’t need to give me any money to use this hymn: you just have to make sure I am attributed (Ben Jonson has been dead so long that his words are in the public domain anyway), and if you make any derivative works (recordings et cetera) they need to also be released under the same license.
That said, if you’ve been enjoying my hymns, I’d love it if you could make a donation to the organ fund at St Andrew’s. We need to raise £25000 to repair the bellows, so far we have £5797.61 which is fantastic but only 22% of the way there.