The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O'er The Hill And O'er The Vale

For Epiphany

Latin Text: In vernali tempore

Words: Anonymous
Translator: John Mason Neale
who notes "A spring carol, probably of the beginning of the 13th century."

Music: Rev. Thomas Helmore, Piae Cantiones, 1582.
Other Melodies: F. J. Dugard, and a tune "In vernali tempore."

Source: Collected Hymns, Sequences and Carols (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide (London: Novello, 1853).

1. O'er the hill and o'er the vale,
    Come three kings together,
Caring nought for snow and hail,
    Cold and wind and weather;
Now on Persia's sandy plains,
Now where Tigris swells with rains,
    They their camels tether;
Now through Syrian lands they go,
Now through Moab, faint and slow,
    Now o'er Edom's heather.

2. O'er the hill and o'er the vale,
    Each king bears a present;
Wise men go a Child to hail,
    Monarchs seek a peasant:
And a star in front proceeds,
Over rocks and rivers leads,
    Shines with beams incessant:
Therefore onward, onward still!
Ford the stream and climb the hill:
    Love makes all things pleasant.

3. He is God ye go to meet:
    Therefore incense proffer:
He is King ye go to greet;
    Gold is in your coffer.
Also Man, He comes to share
Ev'ry woe that man can bear;
    Tempter, railer, scoffer:
Therefore now, against the day
In the grave when Him they lay,
    Myrrh ye also offer.

Graphic Line

Sheet Music from John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, Carols for Christmas-tide: The Condensed Vocal Parts (London: Novello, 1854), pp. 34-36.

Oer_the_hill-Cond_Vocals-01.jpg (106301 bytes) Oer_the_hill-Cond_Vocals-02.jpg (106315 bytes) Oer_the_hill-Cond_Vocals-03.jpg (104488 bytes)

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), #93
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Oer_The_Hill_93.gif (228141 bytes)

Sheet Music from Charles L. Hutchins, #464
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Oer_The_Hill_464.gif (150804 bytes)

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

33-Oer_The_Hill_And_Oer_The_Vale.jpg (106212 bytes)

Sheet Music from Rev. Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), No. 33, p. 44.

Pettman_33-O'er_The_Hill_And_O'er_The_Vale.jpg (467450 bytes)

Sheet Music from George Ratcliffe Woodward, The Cowley Carol Book, First Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 1902, Revised And Enlarged Edition, 1929), Carol #16
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: George Ratcliffe Woodward, Piae Cantiones: A Collection of Church & School Song, chiefly Ancient Swedish, originally published in A.D. 1582 by Theodoric Petri of Hyland. (London: Chiswick Press for the Plainsong & Medieval Music Society, 1910).

Note From Rev. Neale.

In the notes to the first carol, "Here Is Joy For Every Age," Rev. Neale noted: "A translation, or free imitation, as are most (in this collection.)" In the Preface to the First Edition, Rev. Neale wrote that only Good King Wenceslas and Toll! Toll! are original.

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window