O God that guides the cheerful sun (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2004-05-10)  CPDL #06982:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-05-10).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 314 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Aug '23 (format, accidentals). Second stanza editorially underlaid.

General Information

Title: O God that guides the cheerful sun
Composer: William Byrd
Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SAATTB
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: 2 treble, 2 tenor & bass viols colle voci in chorus

First published: 1611 in Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets, no. 28
Description: Subtitled A Carroll for New-yeares day.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O God that guides the cheerfull Sunne,
By motions strange the year to frame,
Which now returnde whence it begun,
From heaven extols thy glorious name.
This new-yeares season sanctifie,
with double blessings of thy store,
That graces new may multiply,
and former follies raigne no more.

So shall our hearts with heaven agree,
& both give laud & praise to thee.

Th’old yeare by course is past and gone,
olde Adam Lord from us expell:
New creatures make us every one,
new life becomes the New-yeare well.
As new borne babes from malice keepe,
new wedding garments O Christ we crave:
That we thy face in heaven may see
with Angels bright our soules to save.