The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Come, Ye Lofty

Words: Rev. Archer Gurney, 1852

Music: See Below

Source: Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old, First Series (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1871), Carol #4

1. Come ye lofty, come ye lowly
Let your songs of gladness ring;
In a stable lies the Holy,
In a manger rests the King:
See in Mary’s arms reposing
Christ by highest heaven adored:
Come, your circle round Him closing,
Pious hearts that love the Lord.

2. Come ye poor, no pomp of station
Robes the Child your hearts adore:
He, the Lord of all salvation,
Shares your want, is weak and poor:
Oxen, round about behold them;
Rafters naked, cold, and bare,
See the Shepherds, God has told them
That the Prince of Life lies there.

3. Come ye children blithe and merry,
This one Child your model make;
Christmas holly, leaf, and berry,
All be prized for His dear sake:
Come ye gentle hearts and tender,
Come ye spirits keen and bold;
All in all your homage render,
Weak and mighty, young and old.

4. High above a star is shining,
And the wise men haste from far:
Come glad hearts, and spirits pining –
For you all has risen the star.
Let us bring our poor oblations,
Thanks and love, and faith and praise;
Come ye people, come ye nations,
All in all draw nigh to gaze.

5. Hark the Heaven of heavens is ringing:
Christ the Lord to man is born!
Are not all our hearts too singing,
Welcome, welcome, Christmas morn?
Still the Child, all power possessing,
Smiles as through the ages past;
And the song of Christmas blessing
Sweetly sinks to rest at last.

Sheet Music by Sir George J. Elvey, Mus. Doc., from Henry Ramsden Bramley and John Stainer, Christmas Carols New and Old (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., ca 1871)

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Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #17:

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Note from Pettman: No. XVII.—Care should be taken not to sing this too fast, or make the Bass too pronounced.

Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 14, pp. 18-19.

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Sheet Music by Rev. Archer Gurney, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 23
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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Sheet Music by Sir George J. Elvey, Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), 401
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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Sheet Music by A. F. M. Custance, Charles L. Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), 411
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

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Sheet Music by Rev. Archer Gurney from Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, 1894), Carol #60

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Sheet Music by J. F. Ohl from  The Parish School Hymnal. Philadelphia: Board of Publication of the United Lutheran Church in America, 1926, #22

From John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 254.

“Come, ye lofty, come ye lowly.” A. T. Gurney. [Christmas.] 1st printed as a "Christmas Hymn" in 1852 in the Penny Post, vol. ii. p. 321, in 5 st. of 8 1. In 1856 it was included in the author's Songs of Early Summer, p. 178, and in 1862 in his work, A Book of Praise. It has also been given in the Lyra Messianica [pp. 104-105], 1864, in the carol collections of Chope [#60], Stainer & Bramley, and others, and in several American hymn-books, including Dr. Hatfield's Church H. Bk. [6 st. of 4 l; text only], 1872, and others. [W. T. B.]

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