Angels We Have Heard On High

History

This could very well be the very first Christmas carol. This song is also know as the Angel’s Hymn. It is believed that Telephous, the Bishop of Rome, during the year 129 AD, proclaimed “In the Holy Night of Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the ‘Angel’s Hymn.'”

It wasn’t until 1862 when James Chadwick translated the song into common English. He kept the chorus in Latin. The phrase ‘Gloria in Excelsis Dio’ translates to ‘Glory to God in the Highest’. James Chadwick translated the song from a French version. Edwin S Barnes is credited to giving the music.

As a Christmas Carol the song tells the story of Jesus’ birth. The basis of the story is found in the Gospel of Luke. In the story the shepherd who were outside of Bethlehem are visited by a multitude of angels singing and praise the arrival of the baby Jesus.

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

CHORUS:

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?

CHORUS:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

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

CHORUS:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

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

CHORUS:

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Angels We Have Heard on High
Angels We Have Heard on High

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