God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen est un hymne chrétien traditionnel et un chant de Noël. Sa tonalité est La mineur.

Histoire[modifier | modifier le code]

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen fut d'abord publié en Angleterre en 1823. Il parut dans Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, un livre de chants compilés par William B. Sandys, bien que son incipit fût alors emprunté à William Hone dans Ancient Mysteries Described. L'auteur originel est inconnu. À l'époque, les mots de la chanson avaient un sens différent de leur usage contemporain ; rest signifiait garder, non pas reposer et merry voulait dire fort, pas joyeux.

Il ne s'agit pas d'un texte adressé à de gaillards gentilshommes. La chanson aurait plutôt été chantée aux petits propriétaires par les gardiens de la ville qui gagnaient des sommes supplémentaires d'argent lors de la saison de Noël. Dans le récit Un chant de Noël de Charles Dickens, en entendant l'hymne, Scrooge saisit avec énergie l'homme qui chantait, le faisant fuir et laissant la serrure de la porte froide et brumeuse.

Paroles[modifier | modifier le code]

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
for Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day (or 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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