The First Noel

The First Noel
An ancient song from Cornwall

Play The First Noel on our online piano.

Also known as The First Nowell, Noel is an early English word which also meant Christmas.

Believed to have originated in Cornwall, the tune is unique because one musical verse is repeated twice, followed by a “chorus” which is a simply a variation of the verse.

There are dozens of versions of the lyrics, many entirely different. Below are what are considered the “standard” lyrics to The First Noel.

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:

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 whersoever it went:

This star drew nigh to the north-west;
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest;
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over 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 hath bought:

 You’ll find the complete FIRST NOEL in our book in THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER.

     Big Book of Songs By Mail


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The asterix (*) is used to denote space or silence in the music, but beginners may ignore the asterix.


|* * * * 3 2|1 * * 2 3 4 |

|5 * * * 6 7|8 * 7 * 6 * |

|5 * * * 6 7|8 * 7 * 6 *| 

|5 * 6 * 7*| 8 * 5 * 4 * | 3 * * * * *|

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