Sons of Levi

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Sons of Levi

Roud 2430

Collected by Cecil Sharp from James Beale, Warehorne, Kent; 23rd September 1908.


  1. Come all you knights, you knights of honour
    When the wars they first began
    That you might shine in your armour bright
    All in the new Jerusalem

    Chorus:
    For we are the true born sons of Levi
    Very few they can compare
    For we are the root and the branch of David
    By the bright and glorious star
    For we are

  2. It was in Gilgarlick Moses wandering
    Playing on his musical horn
    It was in Gilgarlick Moses was quartered
    There he left on a rolling mark

  3. It was in the wilderness Moses wandering
    Near unto the place as good
    Where the Christians smote the Egyptians
    Turning the waters into blood

  4. Broad is the path that leads to ruin
    Many walk that way therein
    That will take them to that simple temple
    That is burdened with sin

  5. Narrow is the path that leads to heaven
    Very few that walks therein
    That will take them to the Holy Temple
    That very place that is free from sin

from Cecil Sharp MSS, Folk Words pp.1775-1776 / Folk Tunes p.1922


Mr. Beale's version of the carol is printed in Sharp's English-Folk Carols (1911) where the notes state:

"Sung by Mr. James Beale and Mrs. Harding at Ham Street.
The words are obviously very corrupt. The first and the last two stanzas in the text are substantially as they were sung to me, but it has been necessary to make some small alterations in the other two verses. In making these changes I have been guided by a broadside version of the song printed by J. Nicholson of Belfast, which however, in some places is almost as unintelligible as the Ham Street version. The Irish broadside is a Masonic song in nine stanzas beginning thus:
Come all you Craftsmen that do wish
To propagate the grand design,
Come, enter into our high temple
And learn the art that is divine.
The last two stanzas given me at Ham Street are not in the broadside.
This carol is, and has been for many years, annually sung at Christmas in Ham Street and the neighbouring villages by a party of male carol singers. I have not found or heard of it elsewhere; nor can I connect the air, which is a strong one, with any other English folk-tune."

Words and sheet music from English-Folk Carols