Sheet Music for

A Basque folk carol, originally based on Angelus Ad Virginem, a 13th or 14th Century Latin carol, it was collected by Charles Bordes and then paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould, who had spent a winter as a boy in the Basque country. The tune is called “Gabriel’s Message”. It is commonly performed in an arrangement by Edgar Pettman published in his 1892 book Modern Christmas Carols.

The use of the lilting phrase “Most highly favoured lady” made it the favourite carol of Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford.

1. The angel Gabriel from heaven came,

His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame,

“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary!”
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

2. “For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,

All generations laud and honour thee,

Thy Son shall be Emmanuel by seers foretold,”

Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

3. Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,

“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify His holy Name.”

Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

4. Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born

In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,

And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,

Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

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