A Queer Sort of Hymn

Image from Trees for Life

The Cherry Tree Carol (music and lyrics)

A Queer Sort of Hymn.

[From the Boston Watchman.]

The Baroness Coutts, whose charities are known all over the world, has built many churches, and among others St. Stephen’s, in Westminister, where a congregation of Ritualistic Episcopalians worship. Here is the hymn they sang on New Year’s Day. We almost hesitate to admit it to our columns, yet it illustrates a phase of religious life; it is a “sign of the times,” and therefore we print it:

Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he,
He married sweet Mary,
And a virgin was she.

As they went a-walking,
In the garden so gay,
Maid Mary spied cherries
Hanging over yon tree.

Mary said to Joseph,
With her sweet lip so mild,
“Pluck these cherries, Joseph,
For to give to my child.”

“Oh! then,” replied Joseph,
With words so unkind,
“I will pluck no cherries
For to give to thy child.”

Mary said to cherry tree,
“Bow down to my knee,
That I may pluck cherries
By one, two, and three.”

The uppermost sprig then
Bowed down to her knee;
“Thus you may see, Joseph,
These cherries are for me.”

“Oh! eat your cherries, Mary,
Oh! eat your cherries now;
Oh! eat your cherries, Mary,
That grow upon the bough.”

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Mar 5, 1876

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