I Sing the Birth

Representative Text

1 I sing the birth was born tonight,
The Author both of life and light:
The angels so did sound it;
And like the ravished shepherds said,
Who saw the light and were afraid,
Yet searched, and true they found it.

2 The Son of God, th'eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,
And freed the world from danger,
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Lord which heav'n and earth did make,
Was now laid in a manger.

3 The Father's wisdom willed it so,
The Son's obedience knew no "No,"
Both wills were in one stature;
And, as that wisdom hath decreed,
The Word was now made flesh indeed,
And took on Him our nature.

4 What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,
To make us heirs of glory!
To see this Babe, all innocence,
A martyr born in our defense--
Can man forget this story?

Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #130

Author: Ben Jonson

Jonson, Benjamin, commonly known as Ben Jonson, the son of a clergyman, was born at Westminster in 1573, and educated at Westminster School, and St. John's, Cambridge. He died in London, Aug. 6, 1637. His history and dramatic abilities are well known to all students of English literature. He is known in association with hymnody mainly through his carol, "I sing the birth—was born tonight," which is still in use. It is given in his Underwoods in the 2nd vol. (folio) of his Works, 1640, and entitled "A Hymn on the Nativity of my Saviour." Two additional hymns therein, "The sinner's sacrifice" and "A Hymn to God the Father," have much merit, but are unsuited for congregational use. His Works have been edited by Gifford, and more recently by… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: I sing the birth was born tonight
Title: I Sing the Birth
Author: Ben Jonson
Language: English
Notes: Hymn text, suggested tune KOMMT HER ZU MIR
Copyright: Public Domain


[I sing the Birth was born tonight] (Martin)


GENEVAN 68 is usually attributed to Matthäus Greiter (b. Aichach, Bavaria, 1490; d. Strasbourg, France, 1550). It was published as a setting for Psalm 119 in Das dritt theil Strassburger Kirchenampt (1525), which Greiter and his friend Wolfgang Dachstein edited. Greiter studied at Freiburg Universi…

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The Cyber Hymnal #3046
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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #130

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Sing Joyfully #190


The Cyber Hymnal #3046

Include 15 pre-1979 instances
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