The Cherry Tree

by John W. Snyder

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price



1. When Joseph was an olden man,
Had lived full many a year, a year,
He courted and wedded the Queen of Heav'n,
And called her his dear.

2. Then Joseph was a carpenter,
And Mary baked and spun, and spun,
And when 'twas ripe-cherry time again
A family was begun.

3. Then Mary in her meekness,
Then Mary what was mild, so mild,
Said: "Cherries are the bestest thing,
For women bearin' child."

4. Then up spake Joseph to Mary -
He was a man unkind, unkind -
"Oh, it's who has sired your baby
That's a-botherin' my mind.

5. "Go tell this one, and straight-away,
That cherries ain't nothing' to me, to me;
If he's e'er a man to sire a child,
He's a man to climb a tree."

6. Then Mary's Son, our Saviour,
He spake from Mary's heart, her heart:
"I'll make this tree bow low down,
I'll take my mama's part."

7. Then the cherry-tree it bow low down,
It bowed down to the ground, the ground,
And gentle Mary helped herself
To cherries without a sound.

8. Then Joseph said in terror:
"I see my wrong is great, is great,
Pray come, my gentle Queen of Heav'n,
The secret do relate."

9. Then said the Virgin Mary,
"The secret I will share, will share:
On Christmas Eve, in an ox's stall,
The Christ-Child I will bear.


released December 25, 2017
melody collected and transcribed by John Jacob Niles

arranged & produced by John W. Snyder

soprano - Amy Foote

guitar, banjo, mandoline, electric bass - Paul Salerno
violin - Megan Shung Smith
violin - Rhea Fowler
viola - Ben Bartelt
cello - Debbie Kollgaard
vibes - Hal Rosenfeld
piano, psaltery, jaw harp - John W. Snyder

mix - Brian Warwick
vocal engineer - Jai Young Kim at Feast or Famine Studios
string quartet engineer - Laurence Schwarz at Studio City Sound
master - Thomas Dimuzio


all rights reserved



John W. Snyder Los Angeles, California

John W. Snyder is a composer and pianist in Los Angeles.

contact / help

Contact John W. Snyder

Streaming and
Download help

If you like John W. Snyder, you may also like: