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> Ashley Hutchings > Songs > Christ Made a Trance

Christ Made a Trance

[ Roud 2112 ; Ballad Index Leath192 ; trad.]

Martin Carthy recorded the carol Christ Made a Trance on June 24, 1991 at Ideal Sound Studio, London. It was included in the Hokey Pokey charity compilation All Through the Year. Carthy also sang it live in December 2004 at Ruskin Mill and in 2006 on Waterson:Carthy's album Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man. He commented in the latter album's notes:

The Passiontide carol Christ Made a Trance is a song which I have known for years. “Trance” is a piece of old usage of the word, used here to mean a narrow defile between two places—in this case life and death. It's a great example of apparently obsolete bits of language surviving in old songs.

The words are a mixture of extant versions—all from gipsy singers—plus oddments from A.L. Lloyd's book The Singing Englishman plus one which I have added myself, and the tune was learned by Cecil Sharp from Mrs Reservoir Butler (née Holland) who, along with her husband, sang many unique carols and other songs to collectors before WW1.

Three verses of Christ Made a Trance were sung by the Albion Morris Men on Ashley Hutchings' record Rattlebone & Ploughjack.

Lyrics

Martin Carthy sings Christ Made a Trance on
All Through the Year
Martin Carthy sings Christ Made a Trance on
Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man

Christ made a trance one Friday view
And he made it with his own hand
He made the sun clear all off the moon
Like water on dry land

Christ made a trance one Friday view
And he made it with his own hand
He made the sun clear all off the moon
Like water on dry land

Like water on dry land man Christ
Who died all on the tree
What shall we do for our Saviour
As he has done for we

Like water on dry land man Christ
Who died all on the tree
What'll we do for our Saviour man Christ
As he has done for we

What'll we do for our Saviour man Christ
Who died all on the road
We'll do as much for him man Christ
Who shared his precious blood

What'll we do for our Saviour man Christ
Who died all on the road
We'll do as much for him man Christ
Who shared his precious blood

Three drops of our Saviour's sweet blood
Were shed on Calvary
Fell on the precious grass o lord
Like the leaves fall down from the tree

The holly points her head to Heaven
To show her berries red
The drops of our Saviour's sweet blood
On Calvary were shed

The holly points her head to Heaven
To show her berries red
The drops of our Saviour's sweet blood
On Calvary was shed

Oh Hell is deep and Hell is dark
And Hell is full of mist
What shall we do for our Saviour
As he has done for us

Christ made a trance one Friday at noon
He made it with his own hand
He made the sun clear all of the moon
Like water on dry land

Christ made a trance one Friday at noon
And he made it with his own hand
He made the sun clear all of the moon
Like water on dry land

Three drops of our sweet Saviour's blood
Were shed on Calvary
Fell down on the precious grass O lord
Like the leaves fall down from the tree

Oh Hell is deep and Hell is dark
And Hell is full of mist
What'll we do for our Saviour man Christ
As he has done for us

Rattlebone & Ploughjack version

Christ made a trance one Sunday at noon
He made it with his hand
And made the sun clear all off the moon
Like the water off dry land

Like water off the land man Christ
What died upon the cross
What shall we do for our Saviour
As he has done for us

Oh Hell is deep and Hell is dark
And Hell is full of moss
What shall we do for our Saviour
That he has done for us

Links and Acknowledgements

Transcribed by Garry Gillard.

See also the Mudcat Café thread Help: 'Christ Made a Trance'.