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Angels we have heard on High

Arranger

Revd. S.S. Greatheed

SATB

Traditional French Melody arranged by Rev. S.S. Greatheed

Text

Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o'er the plains.
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be?
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.

See him in a manger laid
whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

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Angels we have heard - arr Greatheed

Created 15-Sep-08 Revised 14-Apr-09

Angels we have heard on High


The words are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos Campagnes (literally, The Angels in our Countryside). Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick.

It is most commonly sung to the hymn tune "Gloria", as arranged by Edward Shippen Barnes. Its most memorable feature is its chorus:

Gloria in Excelsis Deo! (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest") where the sung vowel sound "o" of "Gloria" is fluidly sustained through a lengthy rising and falling melismatic melodic sequence:

"Gloria in Excelsis Deo" is itself the name of an older hymn.

The phrase also appears melismatically in the Latin version of the carol "O Come All Ye Faithful", though somewhat less extended:

In England, the words of James Montgomery's "Angels from the Realms of Glory" are sung to this tune, except with the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" refrain.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metasyntactic variable".


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