The First Noel, 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.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel 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.
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.
This star drew nigh to the northwest O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Then entered in those Wise men three Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
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 has bought.
The First Noel is unknown in origin but is generally thought to be English dating back to the sixteenth century. There is a misconception that the First Noel was French and it is believed that this is because of the French spelling of Noel as opposed to the olde English Anglo-Saxon spelling of the word as in Nowell. After England was captured by the Normans numerous words were adopted from the Norman French language and Noel was re-spelt as Nowell, early printed versions of this carol use the Nowell spelling. The First Noel was first published in 1833 when it appeared in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern," a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys.