Deo gracias Anglia!

Sep 2012
65 minutes
Obsidian Records

The Trinity Carol Roll (Trinity College, Cambridge, MS O.3.58) is the earliest source for the English polyphony carol. The thirteen works preserved in this manuscript include the patriotic ‘Agincourt’ carol, celebrating Henry V’s victory over the French in 1415, and the most famous of all early English carols ‘Ther is no rose’. The performances on this recording offer a fresh take on medieval instrumentation, and include the gothic harp, psaltery, plectrum lute, recorder and the etherial gemshorn, while the recording itself took place in the Wren Library in Trinity College, Cambridge.

NB: the Middle English texts and translations of the 13 works in the Trinity Carol Roll appear after the track listing below .

Track Listing: 

The Trinity Carol Roll (nos. 1-7)
1. Hail Marye ful of grace
2. Nowel, nowel, nowel
3. Alma redemptoris mater
4. Now may we syngyn
5. Be mery, be mery
6. Nowel syng we
7. Deo gracias Anglia

8. Nowel, nowel
9. Lullay, lullay
10. Princeps pacis
11. Nova, nova
12. Tibi laus, tibi gloria

The Trinity Carol Roll (nos. 8-13)
13. Now make we merthe
14. Abyde I hope it be the beste
15. Qwat tydynges bryngyst thu messager
16. Eya martir Stephane
17. Prey for us the prynce of pees
18. Ther is no rose of swych vertu

1. Hail marye ful of grace

Hail Marye ful of grace
Modyr in virgynyte.

[Hail Mary full of grace
Mother in virginity.]

The holy gost is to the sent
Fro the fadyr omnypotent
Now is god wythin the went
While the aungel seyd ‘Ave’.

[The holy ghost is to thee sent
From the Father omnipotent
Now is God within thee went
While the angel said 'Ave'.]

Hail Marye...

Qwan pe aungel ‘Ave’ began
FIech and bloyd togedyr ran
Marye bar bothe god and man
Throw vertu and yowr dygnyte.

[When the angel 'Ave' began
Flesh and blood together ran
Mary bore both God and man
Through virtue and through dignity]

Hail Marye...

So seyth the gospel of seynt Ion
God and man is mad but on
In flesch and bloyd, body and bon
O god in personys thre.

[So saith the gospel of Saint John
God and man is made but one
In flesh and blood, body and bone
One God in persons three.]

Hail Marye...

And the prophete Ieremye
Told in hys prophecye
That the sone of Marye
Schuld deye for us on rode tre.

[And the prophet Jeremy
Told in his prophecy
That the son of Mary
Should die for us on the rode tree.]

Hail Marye...

Meche joye to us was graunth
And in erthe pece i-plaunth
Qwan the born was this faunth
In the lond of Galyle.

[Much joy to us was granted
And it earth peace was planted
When that born was this infant
In the land of Galilee.]

Hail Marye...

Mary graunth us the blys
Ther thi sonys wonyng is
Of that we han don amys
Prey for us pur charyte.

[Mary grant us the bliss
There thy son's waning is
Of that we have done amiss
Pray for us pour charite.]

Hail Marye...

2. Nowel, nowel, nowel

Nowel, nowel, nowel
To us is born owr god Emanuel.

[Nowel, nowel, nowel
To us is born our God, Emanuel.]

In bedlem this berde of lyf
Is born of marye maydyn and wyf
He is bothe god and man i-schryf
Nowel, nowel.
Thys prince of pees shal secyn al stryf
And wone wyth us perpetuel.

[In Bethlehem this bird of life
Is born of Mary, maiden and wife
He is both God and man I shrife
Nowel, nowel
This prince of peace shall cease all strife
And wone with us perpetual.]

Nowel, nowel...

This chyld shal bey us wyth hys bloyd
And be naylyd upon the royd
Hys raunsom pasyth al erdly goyd
Nowel, nowel
Allas qwat wyth dar be so woyd
To sle so ientyl a iowel.

[This child shall buy us with his blood
And be nailed upon the rood
His ransom passeth all earthly good
Nowel, nowel
Alas what with there be so wode
To slay so gentle a jewel.]

Nowel, nowel...

Be hys powste he hys emprys
Schal take fro helle at hys uprys
And save mankende upon this wys
Nowel, nowel
Thus telly us the prophecys
That he is kyng of heven and helle.

[Be his powst he his emprise
Shall take from hell at his up-rise
And save mankind upon this wise
Nowel, nowel
Thus telleth us the prophecies
That he is king of heaven and hell.]

Nowel, nowel...

This maydenys sone to hys empere
Schal stey to hevene be his powere
Hys holy gost us alle shal lere
Nowel, nowel
[They and] the fadyr in feere
Schal rengne o God this leve I weel.

[This maiden's son to his empere
Shall stay to heaven by his power
His holy ghost us all shall lere
Nowel, nowel
They and the Father in fear
Shall reign one God, this 'lieve I well?

Nowel, nowel...

Prey we this chyld wyth good entent
In our deying he is present
Onto hys fadyr omnypotent
Nowel, nowel
The ferst tydyng of this testament
Browth to us seynt Gabryel.

[Pray we this child with good intent
In our dying he us present
Unto his Father omnipotent
Nowel, nowel
The first tiding of this testament
Brought to us Saint Gabriel.]

Nowel, nowel...

3. Alma redemptoris mater

Alma redemptoris mater.

[Kindly mother of the redeemer.]

As I lay by on a nyth
My thowth was on a berde so brith
That men clepyn Marye ful of myth
Redemptoris mater.

[As I lay upon a night
My thought was on a bird so bright
That men clepen Mary full of might
Mother of the redeemer.]


To here cam Gabryel wyth lyth
And seyd: ‘heyl be thu blysful wyth
To ben clepyd now art thu dyth’
Redemptoris mater.

[To her came Gabriel with light
And said: 'hail be thou blissful wight'
To been cleped now are thou dight?
Mother of the redeemer.]


At that wurd that lady bryth
Anon conseyvyd god ful of myth
Than men wyst weel that sche hyth
Redemptoris mater.

[At that word that lady bright
Then conceived God full of might
Than men wist well that she hight
Mother of the redeemer.]


[Q]wan Ihesu on the rode was pyth
Mary was doolful of that syth
Til sche sey hym ryse up rith
Redemptoris mater.

[When Jesus on the rood was pight
Mary was doleful of that sight
Till she see him rise upright
Mother of the redeemer.]


lhesu that syttyst in hevene lyth
Graunt us to comyn beforn thi sith
Wyth that berde that is so brith.
Redemptoris mater.

[Jesus that sittest in heaven light
Grant us to come before thy sight
With that bird that is so bright
Mother of the redeemer.]


4. Now may we syngyn

Now may we syngyn as it is
Quod puer natus est nobis.

[Now may we sing as it is
that unto us a Son is born.]

This bebe to us that now is bore
Wyndyrful werkys he hath iwrowt
He wil not lese that was ilore
But baldly ayen it bowth
And thus it is, forsothe iwys
He askyth nowt but that is hys.

[This babe to us that now is born
Wonderful works hath he wrought
He will not lese that was ylore
But boldly again it bought.
And thus it is, forsooth ywis
He asketh nought but that is his.]

Now may we syngyn...

[T]his chaffare lovyd he rith weel
The prys was hey and bowth ful dere
Qwo would suffre and for us feele
As dede that prince was owtyn pere.
And thus it is, forsothe iwys
He askyth nowt but that is hys.

[This merchant loved he right well
The price was high and brought full dear
Who would suffer and for us feel
And did that prince without peer.
And thus it is, forsooth ywis
He asketh nought but that is his.]

Now may we syngyn...

Hys raunsum for us hath ipayd
Of resoun than we owyn to ben hys
Be mercy askyd and he be prayd
We may be rith kalange blys.
And thus it is, forsothe iwys
He askyth nowt but that is hys.

[His ransom for us that he paid
Of reason then we own to been his
Be mercy asked and he be prayed
We may by right challenge bliss.
And thus it is, forsooth ywis
He asketh nought but that is his.]

Now may we syngyn...

To sum purpos god made man
I leve weel to salvacyoun
Qwat was his blood that fro hym ran
But defens agens dampnacyoun.
And thus it is, forsothe iwys
He askyth nowt but that is hys.

[To some purpose God made man
I believe well to salvation
What was his blood that from him ran
But defence against damnation.
And thus it is, forsooth ywis
He asketh nought but that is his.]

Now may we syngyn...

Almythy god in trynyte
The mercy we pray with hool herte
Thy mercy may al woo make fle
And daungerous dreed fro us to sterte.
And thus it is, forsothe iwys
He askyth nowt but that is hys.

[Almighty God in Trinity
Thy mercy we pray with whole heart
Thy mercy may all woe make flee
And dangerous dread from us do start.
And thus it is, forsooth ywis
He asketh nought but that is his.

Now may we syngyn...

5. Be mery, be mery

Be mery, be mery I prey you ev’rychon.

[Be merry, be merry, I pray you everyone.]

A princypal poynt of charyte
It is mery to be in hym
That is but oon.

[A principal point of charity
It is merry to be in him
That is but one.]

Be mery...

For he that is but one in blys
To be hath sent his sone i wys
To save us fro our foon.

[For he that is but one in bliss
To be hath sent his son ywis
To save us from our foon]

Be mery...

For of a maydyn a child was born
To save mankende that was forlorn.
Man think theron.

[For of a maiden a child was born
To save mankind that was forlorn.
Man, think thereon.]

Be mery...

Now Mary for thi sonys sake
Save hem alle that merthe make
And lengest holdy on.

[Now, Mary, for thy Son's sake
Save them all that mirth make
And longest holdy on]

Be mery...

6. Nowel syng we now al and sum

Nowel syng we now al and sum
For rex pacificus is cum.

[Nowel sing we now all and some
for the King of Peace is come.]

In Bedleem in that fayr cite
A child was born of a maydyn fre
That shal a lord and prynce be
A solis ortus cardine.

[In Bethlehem in that fair city
A child was born of a maiden free
That shall a lord and prince be
From the rising of the sun.]

Nowel syng we...

Childryn were slayn ful greth plente
Ihesu for the love of the
Qwerfore here sowlys savyd be.
Hostis Herodis impie.

[Children were slain full great plenty
Jesus for the love of thee
Wherefore their souls saved be
How vain the cruel Herod's fear.]

Nowel syng we...

As sunne schynyth thorw the glas
So Ihesu in hys modyr was
The to serve now graunth us gras.
O lux beata trinitas.

[As sun shineth through the glass
So Jesus in his mother was
Thee to serve now grant us grace
O Trinity, blessed light.]

Nowel syng we...

Now God is comyn to wurchepyn us
Now of Marye is born Ihesus
Make we mery amongys us.
Exultet celum laudibus.

[Now God is coming to worship us
Now Mary has born Jesus
Make we merry among us
Let all on earth their voices raise.]

Nowel syng we...

7. Deo gracias Anglia

Deo gracias Anglia
Redde pro victoria.

[England, give thanks to God for victory.]

Owr kyng went forth to Normandy
Wyth grace and myth of chyvalry
Ther god for hym wrowth mervelowsly
Werfore Englonde may cal and cry

[Our king went forth to Normandy
With grace and might of chivalry
There God for him wrought marvellously
Wherefore England may call and cry.]

Deo gracias...

He set a sege for sothe to say
To Harflu toune wyth ryal aray
That toune he wan and mad a fray
That Fraunse shal rewe tyl domysday.

[He set a siege forsooth to say
To Harflu town with royal array
That town he won and made a affray
That France shall rue till domesday.]

Deo gracias...

Than went hym forth owr kyng comely
In Achyncourt feld he faught manly
Thorw grace of God most mervelowsly
He had both feld and vyctory.

[Then went him forth our king comely
In Agincourt field he fought manly
Through grace of God most marvellously
He had both field and victory.]

Deo gracias...

There lordys eerlys and barone
Wer slayn and takyn and that ful soun
And sume were browth into Londone
Wyth ioye and blysse and greth renoun.

[There lords, earls and barons
Were slain and taken and that full soon
And some were brought into London
With joy and bliss and great renown.]

Deo gracias...

Almythy God he kepe our kyng
Thys pepyl and al hys weel-welyng
And give hem grace withoutyn endyng
Then may we calle and savely syng

[Almighty God he kept our king
This people and all his well-willing
And give them grace without ending
Then may we call and safely sing.]

Deo gracias...

8. Now make we merthe

Now make we merthe al and sum
For Cristemesse now is icum
That hath no pere
Syng we alle in fere
Now ioye and blysse
Thei shal not mysse
That makyth good chere.

[Now make we mirth all and some,
For Christmas now is come
That hath no peer
Sing we all in fear
Now joy and bliss
They shall not miss
That maketh good cheer.]

Now god almythy down hath sent
The holy gost to be present
To lyth in Mary maydyn verament
That bar goddys sone wyth good entent.

[Now God almighty down hath sent
The Holy Ghost to be present
To light in Mary maiden verament
That bare God's son with good intent.]

That hath no pere...

Now goddys sone omnipotent
In Mary mylde he hath hent
Flesh and blood for he hath ment
Man to restore agen to his rent.

[Now God's son omnipotent
In Mary mild he hath hent
Flesh and blood for he hath meant
Man to restore again to his rent.]

That hath no pere...

To mylde Marye our hert be bent
That blysful lady so be bent
To prey for us we may not schent
To Ihesu crist here sone so ient.
that hath no pere. Syng. Now make we merthe.

[To mild Mary our heart be bent
That blissful lady so be bent
To pray for us we may not shent
To Jesu Christ her son so gent.]

9. Abyde I hope it be the beste

Abyde I hope it be the beste

Abyde I hope it be the beste
Syn hasty man wantyth never woo.

[Abide I hope it be the best
Sin hasty man wanteth never woe.]

Abyde I hope...

Lat every man that wal han reste
Ever ben avysyd qwat he schal do.

[Let every man that will han rest
Ever been advised what he shall do.]

Abyde I hope...

Preye er thu take thinke er thu feste
In wal be war er thu be wo.

[Pray ere thou take, think ere thou fest
In weal beware, ere thou be woe.]

Abyde I hope...

10. Qwat tydyngs bryngyst thu messager

Qwat tydyngs bryngyst thu messager
Of cristys berthe this yolys day.

[What tidings bringest thou messenger
Of Christ's birth this yule's day.]

A bebe is born of hey nature
The prince of peas that ever shal be
Of hevene and erthe he hath the cure
His lordschepe is eternyte
Swich wynder tydyng ye may here
That man is mad now godys pere
Wom synne had mad but fendys pray.

[A babe is born of high nature
The prince of peace that ever shall be
Of heaven and earth he hath the cure
His lordship is eternity
Such wonder tidings ye may hear
That man is made now God's peer
Whom sin had made but fiend's prey.]

Qwat tydyngs...

A wundyr thing is now be falle
That kyng that formyd sterre and sunne
Hevene and erthe and aunglys alle
Now in mankende is newe begunne
Swich wynder tydyng ye may here
Afaunt is now of o[n] yere
That hath ben ever and shal ben ay.

[A wonder thing is now befall
That King that formed star and sun
Heaven and earth and angels all
Now in mankind is new begun
Such wonder tidings ye may hear
A 'fant is now of one year
That hath been ever and shall be ay.]

Qwat tydyngs...

That semlyest selkouth to se
This berde that hath this babe I born
And lord ateynyd of he degre
A maydyn is as was beforn
Swich wynder tydyng ye may here
That maydyn and mad is on her in fere
And sche a lady of greth aray.

[That seemliest selcouth to see
This burd that hath this babe was born
And lord attained of high degree
A maiden is as was beforn
Such wonder tidings ye may hear
That maiden and mother is one in fere
And she a lady of great array.]

Qwat tydyngs...

That lovlyest gan grete her child
‘Heyl sone heyl brothyr heyl fadder dere
Heyl dowter’ he seyth ‘heyl moder myld’
This heylyng was an qweyet manne
Swich wynder tydyng ye may here
That heylyng was of so good chere
That mannys peyne is turnyd to play.

[That loveliest gan greet her child:
'Hail Son, hail Brother, hail Father dear
Hail daughter', he saith, 'hail Mother mild'
This hailing was on quaint manner
Such wonder tidings ye may hear
That hailing was of so good cheer
That man's pain is turned to play.]

Qwat tydyngs...

11. Eya martir Stephane

Eya martir Stephane
For us we prey to the.

Of this martir make we mende
Qui triumphanvit hodie
And to hevene blysse gan wende
Dono celestis gracie.

Eya martir Stephane...

Stonyd he was wyth stonys grete
Feruore gentis impie
Than he say Cryst sitte in sete
Innixum patris dextere.

Eya martir Stephane...

Thou preydyst Cryst for thin enmyse
O martir invictissime
Thou prey for us that hye iustyse
Un nos purget a crimine.

Eya martir Stephane...

12. Prey for us the prynce of pees

Prey for us the prynce of pees
Amici Cristi Iohannes.

[Pray for us the Prince of Peace
John, Christ's beloved.]

To the now Cristes dere derlyng
That were a maydyn bothe eld and yyng
Myn herte is set to the to syng
Amici Cristi Iohannes.

[To thee now Christ's dear darling
There were a maiden both eld and ying
Mine heart is set to thee to sing:
John, Christ's beloved.]

Prey for us...

For thu were so clene a may
The prevytes of hevene forsothe thu say
Quan an Crystys brest you lay
Amici Cristi Iohannes.

[For thou were so clean a maid
The privities of heaven forsooth thou say
When on Christ's breast you lay
John, Christ's beloved.]

Prey for us...

Quan Cryst beforn Pylat was browth
Thou clene maydyn forsok hym nowth
To deye wyth hym was al thy thowth.
Amici Cristi Iohannes.

[When Christ before Pilate was brought
Thou clean maiden forsook him nought
To die with him was all thy thought.
John, Christ's beloved.]

Prey for us...

Crystys moder was the betake
A maydyn to ben a maydynnes make
Thow be our helpe we be not forsake.
Amici Cristi Iohannes.

[Christ's mother was thee betake
A maiden to be a maiden's make
Thou be our help we be not forsake.
John, Christ's beloved.]

Prey for us...

13. Ther is no rose of swych vertu

Ther is no rose of swych vertu
As is the rose that bar Ihesu.

[There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu.]

Ther is no rose of swych vertu
As is the rose that bar Ihesu.

[There is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bare Jesu.

Ther is no rose...

For in this rose conteynyd was
Hevene and erthe in lytyl space.
Res miranda.

[For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space.
Wonderful thing.]

Ther is no rose...

Be that rose we may weel see
That he is God in personys thre.
Pari forma.

[By that rose we may well see
That he is God in persons three.
Equal in form.]

Ther is no rose...

The aungelys sungyn the sheperdes to
‘Gloria in excelsis deo’

[The angels sung the shepherds to:
'Glory be to God on high'.
Let us rejoice.]

Ther is no rose...

Leve we al this worldly merthe
And folwe we this joyful berthe.

[Leave we all this worldly mirth
And follow we this joyful birth.
Let us follow.]

Ther is no rose...

Alamire records exclusively for Obsidian Records , a subsidiary of Classical Communication Ltd. The following sound files are low-resolution MP3s. For the full sound experience, please visit your local record shop, or download any of our titles from iTunes.

Deo gracias Anglia!: Hail Marye ful of grace


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The first carol in the early 15th-century Trinity Carol Roll, now in the the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge, where this recording was made in September 2011. This track features Clare Wilkinson, Simon Wall, Nicholas Todd, Andrew Lawrence-King, Michael Grebil and Pamela Thorby.

Deo gracias Anglia!: Nova, nova, ave fit ex Eva


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© 2012, Obsidian Records

A vocal and instrumental arrangement of the popular carol 'Nova, nova, ave fit ex Eva', featuring Nicholas Todd, Simon Wall, Andrew Lawrence-King and Michael Grebil.