The Three Magi: A Carol (To a Gypsy Air) – Unknown

This regional spin off is interesting. Though the mention is of Bohemians, it’s not Bohemians per se, but what are called as Parne who intermingle with Gypsies and live their life. They are considered as vile and inacceptable as like the Gypsies. This carol talks about the Three Magi who were supposed to have visited Jesus on his childbirth – they being Parne. It hints at two things – the Magi are not great kings and they are not ready to remove shift the Magi into Asia.

We are three Bohemians
Who tell good fortune.
We are three Bohemians
Who rob wherever we may be ;
Child, lovely and so sweet,
Place, place here, the cross,
And each of us will tell thee
Everything that will happen to thee
Begin, Janan, however,
Give him the hand to see.

Thou art, from what I see,
Equal to God.
And thou art his Son all wonderful :
Thou art, from what I see,
Equal to God.
Born for me in the nothingness :
Love has made you a child
For all the human race :
A virgin is thy mother,
Thou art born without any Father ;
This I see in thy hand.
Love has made thee a child, etc.

There is still a great secret,
Which Janan has not wished to tell
There is still a great secret,
Which will have soon its effect :
Come, come, beauteous Messiah,
Place, place, place here,
The white piece (of money)
To make us rejoice :
Janan will tell, beauteous Messiah,
Give (it) here for dinner.

Under so many means
There is something
For our good very unhappy ;
Under so many means
There is something
For our good hard (to bear) :
One sees there a cross
That is the salvation of all.
And if I dare to tell it thee,
The cause of thy martyrdom
Is that thou art right loving.
One sees there a cross, etc.

There is still something
At the end of the vital line :
There is still something
Which Magassen will tell thee :
Come, come, gentle brother,
Give, give here thy hand,
And I will divine for thee
Something very charming :
But let the silver come, or nevertheless
Without it we do nothing.

Thou art God and mortal,
And as such
Thou wilt live a very short time on the earth ;
Thou art God and mortal,
And as such
Thou wilt be a very short time in our condition :
But thy Divinity
Is for eternity :
Thou art the Author of life,
Thy essence is infinite,
Thou hast nothing that may be limited.
But thy Divinity, etc.

Wilt thou not that we tell
Something to thy holy mother ?
Wilt thou not that we make to her
At the least our compliments?
Fair Lady, come hither,
We others already know
That within thy fair hand
There is a mystery very great.
Thou who art polite, tell her
Something pretty.

Thou art of royal biood,
And thy house
Is of the highest of this world :
And thy house
Is of the highest, from what I see
Thy Lord is thy Son,
And his Father is thy God :
What couldest thou be more?
Thou art the daughter of thy Master
And the Mother of thy God.
Thy Lord is thy Son, etc.

And thou, good old man,
Who art at the corner of the manger,
And thou, good old man,
Wilt thou not that we see thy hand ?
Say, thou fearest perhaps
That we should steal that ass
Which is tied up there ?
We would rather steal the child :
Place (something) here upon, fair sir,
We have scarcely drunk (to-day).

I see within thy hand
That thou art very great,
That thou art very holy, that thou art very just ;
I see in thy hand
That thou art very holy, and well loved :
Ah! divine husband,
Hast thou always preserved
A holy abstinence :
Thou guardest Providence ;
Art thou not well guarded I
Ah ! divine husband, etc.

We others know well
That thou art come into the world ;
We others know well
That thou art come without money :
Fair child, let us not speak more of it,
Since thou art come quite naked,
Thou fearedst, from what we see,
Meeting with Bohemians ;
Why didst thou fear, fair Son? thou art God.
Listen to our farewell.

If too much liberty
Has led us
To divine thy fortune :
If too much liberty
Has led us
To speak to thee too freely,
We pray thee humbly
To make equally
Our good fortune,
And that you give us one
Which may last eternally.
We pray thee humbly, etc.


For the Great Friday – A Greek Carol

Notice the specific mention of a gypsy. Such things made them the regular stuff of persecution all over.

The Panaghia sits alone, alone she sits and lonely ;
She prays, and all her prayers are for her only Son beloved.
A noise she hears, and tumult loud, and very great confusion ;
And forth she comes outside her door, and from her street she sallies.
She sees the Heavens darkened o’er, and sees the Stars all tearful ;
She sees the bright Moon in the sky, in tears the dear Moon swimming ;
St. John she sees, who comes to her, he weeps, his breast he’s beating.
And in one hand he holds the hair torn from his head in anguish,
The other holds a handkerchief that with his tears is dripping.
‘Now tell me, tell me, my St. John, O my St. John, now tell me,
Hast thou not seen mine only Son, hast thou not seen thy Teacher?’
‘I have no mouth to tell of it, nor lips have I to speak it !
Nor can my breaking heart endure to share with thee the tidings ;
But, as thou askest me of this, so let me even tell thee.
See’st thou that hill, see’st thou that hill, that hill both broad and lofty ?
There have the Hebrews thrust Him forth, thrust Him all bound and pinioned ;
Laid hands on Him as on a thief, and as a murderer led Him.’
And when our Lady heard these words she swooned away and fainted.
They jars of water poured on her, three jars of musk they emptied,
And afterwards rose-water sweet, until she was recovered.
And when our Lady spake again, these were the words she uttered :
‘Let Martha come, and Mary come, Elizabeth come with them,
Let them come where He may be found before they crucify Him,
Before they thrust the nails in Him, before they yet have slain Him !’
As they were journeying on the road, and on the road were passing,
Long time our Lady wept, she wept, long time was she lamenting.
And by a Gipsy smith they passed, a smith who nails was making.
‘Thou dog, thou Gipsy dog,’ 1 said she, ‘ what is it thou art doing ?’
‘They’re going to crucify a man, and I the nails am making.
They only ordered three of me, but five I mean to make them ;
Two for his two knees I design, two for his hands I fashion,
The fifth, the sharpest of the five, within his heart shall enter.’
‘Thou dog, thou Gipsy dog,’ said she, ‘ henceforth make thou no ashes.
If thou henceforth shalt ashes make, the wind shall whirl them from thee.’
And then her way she took again unto the Door of Robbers.
The doors were fast shut every one, they fastened were with boulders ;
But from their fear they opened wide, all of themselves they opened,
And entered there our Lady in, with tears and lamentation.
There stood the Hebrews all around, they all around were standing,
One spat on Him, one water threw, and mocked at Him another.
She saw her Son upon the Cross, upon the Cross beheld Him:
‘Is there no knife to kill me with, no cord that I may hang me ?’
And from her Son the answer came, and from the Cross He answered :
‘My Mother, shouldst thou slay thyself, then all the world would slay them.
Have patience, Mana ; then, like thee, will all the world have patience.’
‘Tell me, my Son, O tell to me, say when may I expect Thee ?’
‘On Easter Day, on Easter Day, the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath.
Go, Mana, go now, to our door, return among our neighbours,
Spread in the midst a table low, within our dwelling spread it,
With mothers let the children eat, and children with their mothers,
And there let all the goodwives eat, they with their worthy husbands ;
Let all who love us there sit down, all who for us feel sorrow.’

January First as New Year Day

How many of us know that Jan 1 is new year because that’s the day on which Jesus Christ was circumcised? There was an utter confusion with regard to new year between 12th and 15th century, with the most standard dates being
1 Jan – Roman New Year and the day of circumcision of Jesus Christ
1 Mar – Venezian Style – the old Roman Calendar of 10 months
25 Mar – Annunciation Style – Date when Gabriel told Mary of her pregnancy. Also, Spring Equinox
Sep 1 – New year of the Byzantine Church. The date on which universe creation started
Dec 25 – Christmas Calendar. Also, Winter Solstice
Easter Style – Date changes with Easter – the first Sunday after the first full moon after Vernal Equinox
At some point, they need some sort of standardisation. They went for Circumcision Day – and that is clearly reflected from the name Circumcision Style and not Gregorian or Roman style. For example, For the people of England, the old calendar was called Annunciation Style starting on Mar 25 while the new one is called Circumcision Style.
So, what exactly is the story of this 1 Jan and why is it banned by church?
Initially, the Roman 10 month calendar started on 1 March. And when the two months were added, they were added at the end of the ten months. At some point, after the Romans started to appoint new Consuls, it became a sort of new year. Julius Caesar formalised it in 45 BC and it was called Julian Calendar – the year started with fresh Consuls. but, still, people followed the festivities according to the old calendar.
The church, seeing at the pagan celebrations for Jan 1 banned them and ordered the new year to be shifted. This set the ball rolling with everyone deciding on their new year.
One of the main reason for the ban is the pagan celebrities around the new year, with people gifting each other. But, the ban changed nothing – it fell during the birth celebrities and they didn’t stop gifting each other. That besides, it’s a celebration day – the day of circumcision.
And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcisedhe was called Jesusthe name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb – Luke 2:21
Due to this ban by the church, no one used 1 Jan as new year except in rare cases like that of Richard the Lionheart, that too, much later.
There is no clarity when Jan 1 was universally accepted as new year – it can be a slow adoption, kingdom after kingdom – nothing such regarding the date on which a new year is not mentioned in the papal bull Gregory issued, where he introduced his Gregorian Calendar.
What is this date’s fixation with Christianity? Initially, the Roman Catholics celebrated it as the Feast Day for Mother of God. But when the Byzantine dates started gaining ground, this day was celebrated simply as eighth day of Christmas and later, circumcision day as the focus needs to be shifted back to Jesus from Mary. It was celebrated as Feast of Circumcision of Jesus Christ or The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity and from 1960, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, shifting the focus back to Mary.
What exactly triggered this?
Some accounts stated that Jesus’s foreskin after circumcision was preserved. Relics started appearing from the time of Charlemagne, with the first being gifted by Charlemagne himself to the then Pope during his coronation. The usual process followed – Charlemagne claimed an angel gifted it(probably, Irene of Byzantium brought it with her), some saint got a vision it’s true and was stashed in Rome. It was lost in the 1527 sack of Rome. This was found in Calcata and was worshipped there.
The other alternates, numbering 18 were located at Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay, Santiago de Compostela, Antwerp, Coulombs, Chartres, Besancon, Metz, Hildesheim, Charroux, Conques, Langres, Fecamp, and two in Auvergne, Antwerp in Brabant and other places. Some were lost, some were lost and found, some were authenticated and it was a riot of a confusion. A religious theologian Leo Allatius proposed that the foreskin ascended into heaven to become the rings of Saturn when the rings of Saturn were discovered.
When another foreskin was found in 1900 in France, the then Pope of Catholic Church freaked out and declared that anyone who talks about foreskin will be excommunicated. This foreskin business was formally closed when the Catholic Church changed the name of Jan 1 to Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. In spite of that Calcata paraded the foreskin in a ceremony annually till 1983 when the foreskin was stolen. Slate Magazine hinted that the foreskin was seized by Vatican to stop this obscene spectacle but, there is no way to prove that.

Events Leading to Rebellion in Awadh, 1847-1857

This is an extract from the account of Mirza Muinuddin Hasan Ali Khan, the first Kotwal of Delhi appointed by the Mughal Empire during the rebellion. He puts much weight on the happenings in Awadh as a reason for the rebellion – it is interesting to notice that British saw a threat in the play things of a bored king, which led to the king actually getting bored and the government, haywire. In spite of that, the reason for annexation seems to be a very trivial thing – assertion of my right to pray over the law of the land. Though this account starts with assualt of a Faqir by Brahmins(notice the word Brahmin specifically – is it Brahmin or is it a generic word used by Hindu?) without telling at what the provocation. The anger arising out of the annexation and the loss of jobs – especially in the army seems to be the trigger for the rebellion, according to the author.

When Amjad Ali Shah Padshah, King of Lucknow, died in 1847, he was succeeded by Shah Wajid Ali, who devoted himself to the organization of the Army. Orders were issued that after morning prayer all the regiments in Lucknow were to parade daily at 5 a.m. The King was in the habit of taking command at the parade, dressed in the uniform of a general; he used to drill the troops for four or five hours daily. Furthermore, he issued an order that if he were absent from parade, except through necessities of the State, he was to be fined 2,000 rupees, to be distributed among the regiments in garrison. An equivalent fine was to be levied if any of the regiments were late on parade, and as a further punishment two regiments of infantry and a resalah of cavalry were to remain under arms the whole day.

This activity of the King created suspicion. The British Resident inquired the cause of his exertions in creating an army, and suggested to him that if he required forces for the protection of his province he should employ British troops, to be paid out of the revenues of Oude. The courtiers of his Court also advised him not to raise suspicion by his personal activity. The King, discouraged by these remonstrances, replied that he would employ himself in future with some other occupation, as his interest in his army was not approved of. Henceforward he began to neglect the affairs of the State, and took pleasure in debauchery. The former Minister, Findad Hossim Khan, was removed from his post, and Ali Tukf Khan, a man of good family, was appointed to succeed him. The King married the niece of his new Minister, and then his daughter. He left the management of all the affairs of State to Ali Tukf Khan.

From the neglect of his kingdom there arose results which man’s wisdom could not foresee. There was a Rajah, Dursham Sing by name, a nobleman of old family, the son of a Brahmin, Mahender Sing, a soldier by profession. This Dursham Sing had three sons — Buktour Sing, Durshin Sing, and Cholauka Sing. The eldest obtained the King’s favour and a title of nobility, as did also Durshin Sing. They also obtained appointments as “Chakladars.”

Durshin Sing next proceeded to force defaulting zemindars to draw out bills of sale of their property in his name. Thus he gradually formed for himself a large estate. His talook (property) adjoined a place called Hanumanjari, in the vicinity of Fyzabad, where there was a Mahommedan mosque which Durshin Sing annexed, together with its endowment.

Durshin had two sons, Hanuman Dull and Man Sing. These two men refused to allow the “Arjan” (call to prayer) to be sounded from the mosque. A few days later a travelling Moulvie, Fakir Hossein Shah, came to the mosque to pray, and not knowing of the prohibition, sounded the Arjan. The Brahmins of a neighbouring temple, hearing this, came to the mosque, assaulted the Moulvie, and taking from him the Koran which he held in his hands, threw it into a fire and burned it, and then drove the Moulvie out of the mosque.

The traveller went on his way to Lucknow, and told in the bazaars what had happened. It so happened that in the Hyderabad Mehalla ward of the city, the story interested a man called Hyder Khan, who lived there with his four brothers. All were soldiers in the service of the King. On hearing of the outrage, the two younger brothers offered to assist the Moulvie to obtain retribution for the insult to the Prophet. The three, in pursuance of their plan, returned to Hanumanjari, and the next day at the usual hour of prayer, they sounded the Arjan loudly and repeatedly. Brahmins came running to the mosque ; an altercation followed ; then a fight, in which the two soldiers were killed ; Hossein escaped, and returning to Lucknow, laid a complaint before the criminal court. The native judge, seeing that the case was likely to prove troublesome, put it aside. The Moulvie then appealed to one Syud Amir-Ali, Resident of Kasbeh Intaband, who bore a great reputation in the city as a holy and just man, and who had lived for many years as a recluse in a corner of the mosque at Kusbeh Amaitie. On hearing the story, he took up the Moulvie’s cause. He first called a public meeting at the mosque, and issued a Futwa (law decision) on the consequences of burning the Koran, and the murder of two zealous Mahommedans, who had fallen in defence of their religion. He then began to preach a jehad (holy war) in the streets of Lucknow, and in the adjoining country. He pointed out that there was a danger to the Mahommedan religion, and this excited and inflamed the public mind. Eventually he started for Hanumanjari with a large following of persons burning to revenge the insult offered to their religion. The matter came to the ears of the British Resident, who hastened to the King, and urged him to take immediate measures to allay the excitement. The King sent for Kadum Hossein, and urged him to use his influence to settle the matter amicably.

Hossein Bux and Mahommed Tyer Khan were deputed to bring back the Moulvie, who, however, refused to return. Nawab Ali Tuk Khan then suggested to the King that Bashir-ul-Dowlah should be sent to bring back the Moulvie. He agreed to go if justice were done, and threatened if it were not that he would join the Moulvie. The British Resident again urged the King to prevent widespread bloodshed, and impressed on him his responsibility.

Both the King and his Minister for the time forgot their anger with the Resident for his interference with the King’s military ardour, and consulted upon the measures necessary to suppress the impending trouble. They sent for Moulvie Kadim Hossein, a resident of Feringhee Mehal in Lucknow, a man of ability and position, and asked him to publish a contradictory Futwa, so as to cut away the ground from beneath the feet of those who desired war. The King also summoned Shah Hossein Bux and Mahommed Fakir Khan, and urged them to do all in their power to quiet the Moulvie ; but their efforts were fruitless. The Moulvie would listen to no terms other than that the Brahmins should be expelled from the Hanumanjari mosque, and the Mahommedans protected in the exercise of their ceremonials and prayers, and offenders punished in accordance with the laws of the Koran. Promises were made, but no steps were taken to fulfil them. The Moulvie remained at Lucknow for eight or ten days as the guest of Bashir-ul-Dowlah, who repeatedly urged upon the Vizier the fulfilment of his promise. The Moulvie then sent a message to the King that he would take the enforcement of justice into his own hands, and he returned to Hanumanjari after quarrelling with Bashir-ul-Dowlah for non-fulfilment of his promises. On this, the King ordered Colonel Barlow, who commanded the King’s troops, to take a regiment of Hindus only, and to stop the Moulvie by force, and if necessary he was to blow the Moulvie from a gun in case resistance was offered. The King’s soldiers were encamped four miles from the Moulvie’s camp. When the Moulvie attempted to march from Radii Maidan, Colonel Barton forbad his doing so and surrounded his camp.

Attacked by the Moulvie’s followers, the guns opened fire, and killed all of the assailants, many of the King’s troops falling also. The news of this engagement spread throughout Hindustan and was the forerunner of still greater events. Little by little evil thoughts were generated. The British Resident, impressed by numerous petitions against the grave oppressions to which the people were subjected, and convinced of the inability of the King to rule the province in the interests of his people, recommended annexation. It is singular to record that under a Mahommedan sovereign injustice should have been perpetrated in the matter of a mosque, and that the people should subsequently have arisen in rebellion against the British, to whom they appealed for justice and protection. On the 17th of February, 1856, the British annexed Oude. They little anticipated the result. Thousands of men in the service of the King were thereby thrown out of employment, and were deprived of the means of livelihood. The worse the administration had been, the greater was the multitude of soldiers, courtiers, police, and landholders, who had fattened on it.

Those who had petitioned the English for redress were the poor and the oppressed. But the oppressors saw in British rule their own suppression. Oude was the birthplace of the Purbeah race, and these feelings of dissatisfaction affected the whole Purbeah race in the service of the British Government. To the native mind the act of annexation was one of gross injustice, and provoked a universal desire for resistance.

The King, and all those connected with him, although bowing to the hand of fate, became henceforward the bitter enemies of the English. At this time there were stationed at Lucknow two regiments, the 19th and the 34th, which were in the pay of the English Government. They had frequent consultations together on the injustice of the step which had been taken, and on the resistance which should be offered, and the attempts which should be made to create a rebellion for the purpose of overthrowing the British authority. It so happened that at the time of the annual change of regiments in 1857 one of these two regiments was sent to Berampur, the other to Barrackpur. Both these regiments were full of bitterness towards the English Government, and from them letters were written to other Purbeah regiments. The 34th took the lead. These letters reminded every regiment of the ancient dynasties of Hindustan ; pointed out that the annexation of Oude had been followed by the disbandonment of the Oude army, for the second time since the connection of the English with Oude ; and showed that their place was being filled by the enlistment of Punjabis and Sikhs, and the formation of a Punjab army. The very bread had been torn out of the mouths of men who knew no other profession than that of the sword. The letters went on to say that further annexations might be expected, with little or no use for the native army. Thus was it pressed upon the Sepoys that they must rebel to reseat the ancient kings on their thrones, and drive the trespassers away. The welfare of the soldier caste required this ; the honour of their chiefs was at stake.

The proximity of these two regiments to each other enabled the conspirators to carry on a constant correspondence (the circulation of these letters being conducted with great secrecy), and frequent consultations ensued. By degrees it became known in native society which regiments were disaffected, and it began to be inculcated as a creed that every Purbeah must withdraw his friendship from the foreigner; must ignore his authority, and overthrow his rule. Although these sentiments had become national, the methods to be employed in carrying them into action were but indistinctly known when the actual outbreak occurred. When the rebellion had begun, the full force and significance of all that had preceded it became apparent, and men understood what it meant.