Lyrics to the traditional English Christmas carol The First Nowell.

The Christmas carol The First Nowell has been around since at least the 1700s. The spelling of the word Noel as Nowell has been around since at least the 1800s. The word Noel comes from Noël which is French for Christmas. Noël in turn is derived from the Latin word natalis which means birthday. There is also a version where Nowell/Noel has been substituted with O well, O well

The first Nowell

The first “Nowell” the angels did say

Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,

On a cold winter’s night that was so deep:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

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:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

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:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest:

O’er Bethlehem it took its rest;

And there it did both stop and stay,

Right over the place where Jesus lay:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

Then did they know assuredly

Within that house the King did lie;

One entered in then for to see,

And found the Babe in poverty:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those wise men three,

Full rev’rently upon their knee,

And offered there, in his presence,

Their gold and myrrh, and frankincense:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

Between an ox-stall and an ass

This Child there truly bornèd was;

For want of clothing they did him lay

All in the manger, among the hay:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heavenly Lord

That hath made heaven and earth of nought,

And with His blood mankind hath bought:

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

If we in our time shall do well

We shall be free from death and hell,

For God hath prepared for us all

A resting-place in general.

Nowell! Nowell! Nowell! Nowell!

Born is the King of Israel!

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Words

of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average
a religious folk song or popular hymn, particularly one associated with Christmas
of heaven; divine

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