The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

From Heav'n on High The Angels Sing

Susani -- one of the oldest German carols.
Early versions date back to the fourteenth century.
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / XML

Words: Vom Himmel hoch o Engel kommt, Words and Music unknown
from Auserlesne catholische geisliche Kirchengesange (1623)

Text based on Luke 2: 1-18

Translator: Unknown

Compare: "Susanni" (A little child there is ybore)

1. From heaven on high, the angels sing,
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
And let the joyful trumpets ring,
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

2. Come, bring your instruments so sweet,
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
With harp and chimes your Savior greet,
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

3. O lift your voices clear and high,
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
With strings and organ raise the cry,
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

4. Our music must sound heavenly
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
Because this child from heaven be
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

5. Our voices they must sing of peace
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
And day and night not ever cease.
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

6. So sweet the organ notes must sound
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
As even to the the birds astound.
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

7. Let Harpstrings sound their sweet refrain,
Eia, eia, susani, susani, susani!
So that the child may sleep again
Alleluja, alleluja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

8. Sing peace to all men far and wide,
Eia! eia! Susani, susani, susani!
And praise to God, our heav'nly guide,
Al-le-lu-ja! Al-le-lu-ja!
Of Jesus sing, and Maria.

In another version, all verses have the following last line:

Of Mary sing, and Christ, her Son.

For a discussion of the similarities and differences between "Susani" and "Susanni", see William Studwell, The Christmas Carol Reader (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1995).

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