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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 2482
IMEV 1473
NIMEV 1473
In Bethlehem this bird of life
A Christmas carol — five 6-line stanzas (aaabab) and burden: ‘Nowel nowel nowel / To vs is born owr god emanuel’
Subjects: carols, Nativity
Versification: — six-line — aaabab



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Arch. Selden. B. 26 (SC 3340), f. 27v
First Lines:
In bedlem þat child of lyfe
ys born of mary maydd & wyfe…
Last Lines:
…Thus telleth vs the prophecyys
Here be forne as they dyde tell
Note: 3 stanzas.
Facsimiles:
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967: no. lxxxvi.
Editions:
Padelford, Frederick Morgan. “English songs in manuscript Selden B.26.” Anglia 36 (1912): 79-115: 110-11.
Stainer, Sir John, John Stainer, C. Stainer, and Edward Williams Byron Nicholson. Early Bodleian music; sacred & secular songs, together with other MS. compositions in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, ranging from about A.D. 1185 to about A.D. 1505. London, 1901; repr. Farnborough, Hants, England: Gregg, 1967: 2.155-6.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 27.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Trinity College O.3.58 (1230), no. 2 (on a roll)
First Lines:
In bedlem þis berde of lyf
Is born or uirgyne maydyn and wyf…
Last Lines:
…The ferst tydyng of þis testament
browth to vs seynt gabryel
Note: 3 stanzas.
Editions:
Padelford, Frederick Morgan. “English songs in manuscript Selden B.26.” Anglia 36 (1912): 79-115: 110-11.
Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, and William Smyth Rockstro. English Carols of the Fifteenth Century. London: Leadenhall Press; New York: Scribner’s, 1891: 5.
Greene, Richard Leighton. The Early English Carols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1935; 2nd ed., rev., Oxford: Clarendon, 1977: 13; 1977, 9.
Brown, Carleton Fairchild, ed. Religious Lyrics of the XVth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1939: 111-12.
Stevens, John, ed. Mediaeval Carols. Musica Britannica 4. London: Stainer and Bell, 1952, 2nd ed. 1958: 2.