When Joseph was an old man,
An old man was he,
When he courted Virgin Mary,
The Queen of Galilee,
  When he courted Virgin Mary,
  The Queen of Galilee

As Joseph and Mary
Were walking one day,
"Here are apples and cherries,"
O Mary did say....
  "Here are apples ...

Then Mary spoke to Joseph,
So meek and so mild,
"Joseph, gather me some cherries
For I am with child...."
  "Joseph, gather me ...
Then Joseph flew in anger --
In anger flew he,
"Let the father of the baby
Gather cherries for thee!"
  "Let the father ...
Then Jesus spoke a few words,
A few words spoke he,
"Let my mother have some cherries;
Bow low down, cherry tree!
  "Let my mother ...
"Bow down, O cherry tree!
Bow low down to the ground!"
Then Mary gathered cherries
While Joseph stood around....
  Then Mary gathered ...
Then Joseph took Mary
All on his left knee;
Saying: "What have I done? Lord,
Have mercy on me!"
  Saying: "What ...
Then Joseph took Mary
All on his right knee,
"Pray tell me, little baby,
When your birthday shall be....
  "Pray tell me, ...
"On the sixth day of January
My birthday shall be,
When the stars and the elements
Shall tremble with glee.... 
  When the stars ...

recording: Nowell Sing We Clear [YouTube]

notes: Jean Ritchie on the final two verses being a later addition [Mudcat Cafe[

notes: Connection to Gospel and Apocryphal sources [Inside Bluegrass]