Good Joseph had a Garden (Sing the joy of Easter Day)

This is an Easter hymn which focuses on Joseph of Arimathea.

The words were written by English vicar's daughter, author, hymn-writer and lecturer Alda Marguerite Milner-Barry (1875-1940).   The hymn was first published in the Church and School Hymnal in 1926.

This timing means that it is now public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author's death plus 70 years, but not necessarily in the USA (it depends on whether copyright renewals were done there).

The original hymn had eight verses - and some publications include a chorus. It's not clear whether this was part of the original song or not.   (It is only included once in the PowerPoint slides below to make it easier to leave out if required).

With meter 76 86, tunes the hymn has been set to include:
  • CHERRY TREE CAROL (traditionally used for 'Joseph was an old man’)
  • ROYAL OAK, an 17th century English melody which was arranged by Martin F. Shaw in 1915
  • Another unidentified tune, shown in the 2nd video below


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Singer with synthesister/electronic-organ backing:

Instrumental - piano. Tuee ROYAL OAK

Instrumental - organ.  Tune unknown.


Sing the joy of Easter Day,
The Easter triumph tell,
Jesus rose on Easter Day,
The Lord Who loves us well.

Good Joseph had a garden,
Close by that sad green hill
Where Jesus died a bitter death
To save mankind from ill.

One evening in that garden,
Their faces dark with gloom,
They laid the Saviour's body
Within good Joseph's tomb.

There came the holy women
With spices and with tears;
The angels tried to comfort them,
But could not calm their fears.

Came Mary to that garden
And sobbed with heart forlorn;
She thought she heard the gardener ask
'Whom seekest thou this morn?'

She heard her own name spoken,
And then she lost her care:
All in his strength and beauty
The risen Lord stood fair!

Good Joseph had a garden;
Amid its trees so tall
The Lord Christ stood on Easter Day:
He lives to save us all.

And as he rose at Easter
He is alive for ay,
The very same Lord Jesus Christ
Who hears us sing to-day.

Go tell the Lord Christ's message,
The Easter triumph sing,
Till all his waiting children know
That Jesus is their King.

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