Sunday, December 25, 2011

Past Three O'Clock

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Born is a baby, gentle as may be
So-on of the eternal, Father supernal

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Seraph quire singeth, angel bell ringeth
Har-ark how-ow they rhyme it, time it and chime it

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Mid earth rejoices hearing such voices
Ne'ertofore so well carolling Nowell

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Hind o'er the pearly dewy lawn early
Seek the hi-i-igh Stranger laid in a manger

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Cheese from thy dairy, bring it for Mary
A-and not for money, butter and honey

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Light out the star-land leadeth from far land
Princes to meet him, worship and greet him

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Myrrh from full coffer, incense they offer
Nor-or is the golden nugget withholden

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all

Thus they I pray you, up sirs nor stay you
'Till ye-ee confess him, likewise and bless him

Past three o'clock and a co-old frosty morning
Past three o'clock, good morrow masters all...



"Past Three O'Clock" (or "Past Three A Clock") is a Christmas carol, loosely based on the traditional cry of the city night watchman:
Past three a clock,
And a cold frosty morning,
Past three a clock;
Good morrow, masters all!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The words were written by George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934) to the traditional tune "London Waits". Woodward added lines to the traditional refrain in a style characteristic of his delight in archaic poetry. It was published in A Cambridge Carol Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter and Other Seasons in 1924.

Numerous variations of the carol include an arrangement by William Llewellyn as a "quodlibet" for choir: London Waits (Past Three O'clock).
Recordings of the carol include those by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, the Monteverdi Choir and the Irish group The Chieftains as heard in this video.

Popular music artistes who have recorded the carol include Linda Ronstadt on the album A Merry Little Christmas (2000).

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