The First Noel is believed to be English in origin in the sixteenth century. It was first published in 1833, in a collection of seasonal carols by William B. Sandys known as 'Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern'.
The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, 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. Refrain
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 wherever it went. Refrain
This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took it rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay. Refrain
Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold, and myrrh, and frakincense. Refrain
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought. Refrain
Lyrics of the popular English Christmas songs, The First Noel, were first published in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern by William Sandys.