Angels We Have Heard on High
"Angels We Have Heard on High" is a
The words of the song 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
1862by 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!" (
Latinfor "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:
:"Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o!"
Gloria in Excelsis Deo" is itself the name of an older famous hymn.
The phrase also appears melismatically in the Latin version of the carol "O Come All Ye Faithful", though somewhat less extended:
:"Glo-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o".
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.
In the English version of "O Come All Ye Faithful", that phrase is poetically translated as "Glo-ry to Go-od, Glo-ry in the High-est", reducing the melisma to no more than two notes per word.
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?
Bethlehemand see:Him Whose birth the angels sing;:Come, adore on bended knee,:Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
multi-listen item|filename=Angels We Have Heard On High.ogg|title=Angels We Have Heard On High|description=Angels We Have Heard On High, performed by Clarinet and French Horn|format=
Ding Dong Merrily on High
*Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary: [http://www.ccel.org/cceh/0000/x000095.htm Gloria -- Tune: 000095]
* [http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/a/n/angelswe.htm Cyber Hymnal]
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