God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (or 'God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen') is a very old English Christmas carol that dates back at least as far as the sixteenth century.  It is in the Roud Folk Song Index, and is also sometimes called 'Tidings of Comfort and Joy'.  At the time that the carol was written, the word 'rest' was commonly used to mean 'keep' or 'continue to be'.  So the title is not an invitation to put one's feet up!  Rather, its meaning is close to, 'God keep you happy'. 

Copyright © 2016 Peter Webster Music Ltd, all rights reserved.

Chords

Em               
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
,

      C                   B7
Let nothing you dismay
.

Em
Remember, Christ, our Saviour


         C                         B7
Was born on Christmas day


     Am                     G

To save us all from Satan's power


         Em                       D
When we were gone astray.

   G              B7              Em
O tidings of comfort and joy,


                    D
Comfort and joy
,

    G            B7                Em
O tidings of comfort and joy,





    Em               
In Bethlehem, in Israel

        C                            B7
This blessed Babe was born
,

       Em
And laid within a manger


  C                          B7
Upon this blessed morn
,

        Am                        G

The which His Mother Mary


       Em                    D
Did nothing take in scorn.

   G               B7              Em
O tidings of comfort and joy,


                    D
Comfort and joy
,

    G            B7                Em
O tidings of comfort and joy,


Lyrics

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.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy
,
O tidings of comfort and joy

.

In Bethlehem, in Israel
This blessed Babe was born
,
And laid within a manger

Upon this blessed morn
,
The which His Mother Mary

Did nothing take in scorn.

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.



"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.
O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy,

O tidings of comfort and joy.



The shepherds at those tidings

Rejoiced 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.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy
,
O tidings of comfort and joy

.

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.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy
,
O tidings of comfort and joy

.

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.

O tidings of comfort and joy,

Comfort and joy
,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

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