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.

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