23 December 2012

Sing We All of Christmas: Angels We Have Heard on High

One bit of musical knowledge you should have about this carol is that it is "macaronic", or has two languages (Latin and English) in the same piece.  Isn't that a fun word?
The Latin part of the text, "Gloria in excels is Deo", means "Glory to God in the highest!". And of course we know who sang it first (the angels), although they probably didn't sing in Latin or English.
Put together with the verses, the carol as a whole voices the shepherds' story of hearing the angels sing, alternated with questions asked by their listeners.
People who sing parts love to sing this--all the parts are interesting, and together indeed make a glorious sound.
Angels we have heard on high,
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.
Gloria in excels is Deo,
Gloria in excels is Deo.
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tidings did you hear?
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the newborn King.
See Him in a manger laid
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.
Tune GLROIA, a French carol arranges by Edward Shippen Barnes; text taken in part from Luke 2:13-17, a French carol translated in "Crown of Jesus" and adapted herd by Earl Marlatt; SDA Hymnal 143; see also the Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.