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God Rest ye Merry Gentleman (song)

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An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:20-21)

"God rest ye merry gentleman" is a well known English Christmas carol.

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
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Lyrics

God rest ye merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay

For Jesus Christ our saviour, was born on this day

To save us all from Satan's power when we gone astray

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, o tidings of comfort and joy


From God our heavenly father, a blessed angel came

And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same

How that in Bethlehem was born, the son of God by name

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, o tidings of comfort and joy


The shepherds at these tidings rejoiced much in mind

And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind

And went to Bethlehem straight-way, the blessed babe to find

O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, o tidings of comfort and joy

Title

Although the grammar in this song is now archaic, placing a comma is the right place can make the meaning of this carol much clearer. The title is not "God rest ye, merry gentlemen", but "God rest ye merry, gentlemen". That is, the song is a blessing on all gentlemen, not just the merry ones. The singer requests that God would help the gathered gentlemen to remain happy. See Catherine Osborne's blog for some more grammatical comments.

Quotes

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