116. The Snow Lay on the Ground

1 The snow lay on the ground; the stars shone bright,
when Christ our Lord was born on Christmas night.
Venite adoremus Dominum.
Venite adoremus Dominum.

Venite adoremus Dominum.
Venite adoremus Dominum.

2 ‘Twas gentle Mary maid, so young and strong,
who welcomed here the Christ-child with a song.
She laid him in a stall at Bethlehem;
the ass and oxen shared the roof with them. [Refrain]

3 Saint Joseph too was by to tend the child,
to guard him, and protect his mother mild.
The angels hovered round and sang this song:
Venite adoremus Dominum. [Refrain]

4 And thus that manger poor became a throne;
for he whom Mary bore was God the Son.
O come, then, let us join the heavenly host
to praise the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: The snow lay on the ground; the stars shone bright
Title: The Snow Lay on the Ground
Refrain First Line: Venite adoremus Dominum
Meter: with refrain
Language: English
Publication Date: 2013
Scripture: ;
Topic: Christian Year: Nativity/Christmas; Christian Year: Epiphany; Jesus Christ: Birth
Source: Anglo-Irish carol; Catholic Hymns, 1860, alt.
Tune Information
Harmonizer: Leo Sowerby (1941)
Meter: with refrain
Key: G Major
Source: Italian folk melody; Children’s Praise, 1871
Copyright: Harm. © 1941 Leo Sowerby
Notes: Guitar chords do not correspond with keyboard harmony

Text Information:

This is one of the few instances where we can see how one Christmas carol has been built upon another. The refrain here quotes the original Latin refrain of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (see no. 133), which means this text was created later than the first half of the 18th century.

Audio recording: Audio (MP3)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

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