Many Christmas carols tell a story, usually the story of the nativity. I like this one because it starts in the Garden with the fall of man before moving to the Incarnation. The version I chose is fairly simple, which is probably the way to go when singing any song that tells a story.
1. The Lord at first did Adam make
Out of the dust and clay,
And in his nostrils breathed life,
E’en as the Scriptures day.
And then in Eden’s Paradise
He placed him to dwell,
That he within it should remain
To dress and keep it well.
Now let good Christians all begin
An holy life to live,
And to rejoice and merry be,
For this is Christmas Eve.
2. And then within the garden he
Commanded was to stay,
And unto him in commandment
These words the Lord did say:
The fruit which in the garden grows
To thee shall be for meet,
Except the tree in the midst thereof,
Of which thou shalt not east. [Chorus].
3. For in the day that thou shalt eat,
Or do it them come nigh;
For if that thou doth eat thereof
Then surely thou shalt die.
But Adam he did take no heed
Unto that only thing,
But did transgress God’s holy law,
And so was wrapt in sin. [Chorus].
4. Now mark the goodness of the Lord
Which he for mankind bore,
His mercy soon he did extend,
Lost man for to restore;
And then for to redeem our souls
From death and hellish thrall,
He said his own dear son should be
The Saviour of us all. [Chorus].
5. Which promise now is brought to pass,
Christians, believe it well;
And by the coming of God’s dear Son
We are redeemed from thrall.
Then if we truly do believe,
And do the thing aright;
Then by his merits we at last
Shall live in Heaven bright. [Chorus].
6. Now for the blessings we enjoy,
Which are from Heaven above,
Let us renounce all wickedness
And live in perfect love.
Then shall we do Christ’s own command,
Ev’n his own written word,
And when we die in Heaven shall
Enjoy our living Lord. [Chorus].
7. And now the tide is nigh at hand,
Int’ which our Saviour came;
Let us rejoice, and merry be,
In keeping of the same.
Let’s feed the poor and hungry souls,
And such as do it crave;
Then when we die, in Heaven sure,
Our reward we shall have. [Chorus].
Lyrics from here.