The First Noel

Origin and History | The First Noel Lyrics | Youtube Video | Music Sheets


Many experts agree that the title of this famous Christmas carol should be read in English as The First “Nowell” and not Noel, which is its French translation, meaning Christmas. Nowell is derived from natalis, a Latin word which means birth.

History of the Carol “The First Noel”

The true source of this explicit carol is still uncertain but many studies agree that it dates back to at the seventeenth century but some say even asa far as the thirteenth century. William B. Sandy and Davies Gilbert revised and made additions to the lyrics during the 1820’s and this is the version we are familiar of today. The melody’s origin is still in speculation up to this day.

The song was published in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, which was a book written by Sandy during the 1820’s. Other very famous songs like I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Hark the Herald Angels Sing also debuted in this book.

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The First Noel Lyrics

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked 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.

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.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took it rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold, and myrrh, and frakincense.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.

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The First Noel Youtube Video

Watch The First Noel Celtic Woman Version
Watch The First Noel Frank Sinatra Version
Watch The First Noel Natalie Cole Version
Watch The First Noel Georgian Version

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The First Noel Music Sheet

Music Sheet Source:

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The First Noel Guitar Tab

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