The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Blessed Night, When First That Plain - Medley

For Christmas

Part I. Blessed Night, When First That Plain

Words: Rev. Dr. Horatius Bonar, a cento from Blessed Night, When First That Plain

Music: Edgar Pettman

Part II. Hark, What Music Fills The Sky

Words: Miss E. (Esther) Wiglesworth (1827-1907)

Music: Edgar Pettman

Source: Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), Carol No. 4, p. 7.

Part I. Blessed Night, When First That

1. Blessed night, when first that plain,
Echoed with the joyful strain,
Peace has come to earth again!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Blessed hills, that heard the song
Of the glorious Angel throng
Swelling all your slopes along.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Happy shepherds, on whose ear
Fell the tidings loud and clear,
“God to man is drawing near.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. Thus revealed to shepherds' eyes,
Hidden from the great and wise,
Entering earth in lowly guide –
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5. Entering by the narrow door,
Laid upon this rocky floor,
Placed in yonder manger poor.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6. We adore Thee as our King,
And to Thee our song we sing;
Our best offerings to Thee we bring.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7. Mighty King of Righteousness,
King of Glory, King of Peace,
Never shall Thy Kingdom cease!
Alleluia! Alleluia!


Part II. Hark, What Music Fills The Sky

1. Hark! What music fills the sky!
Glory be to God on high,
Angels sing and hosts reply,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. To the sons of men is given
God's dear Son, best gift of Heaven,
Pledge of grace, and sin forgiven,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Righteousness and peace embrace,
For the Prince of Peace doth place
His Right and on Adam's race.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. Would ye see the wondrous sign,
In a manger, Child Divine,
Lies the Heir of David's line.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5. Thus we own as Lord and King,
And as tribute meet we bring
Songs which Angels cannot sing.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6. Him we praise, Himself who gave
To the manger and the grave
All to ransom and to save.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., The Westminster Carol Book (London: Houghton & Co., 1899), Carol No. 4, p. 7.

Pettman_04-Blessed_Night_When_First_That.jpg (519562 bytes)

Also found in Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #12:

12-Blessed_Night-Hark_What.jpg (89687 bytes)

Note from Pettman: No. XII.—To be sung joyously, almost boisterously, particularly the last "Alleluia." Parts I and II are quite distinct from one another, and should not be taken successively in the same service.

Another version of this coupling first appeared in William Walsham How, Ashton Oxenden, & John Ellerton, eds., Children's Hymn Book (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1881), #72 & #73, p. 73: Blessed Night, When Bethlehem's Plain. Credit is often given to Mrs. Carey Brock, The Deanery, Guernsey, who wrote the Preface, and apparently created an earlier version of this volume. The tune used was "St. Eanswyth."

The sheet music "St. Eanswyth" by J. W. Sidebotham, from the Children's Hymn Book (1881).
Meter 7774

Blessed_Night-Bethlehem-no72-p73.jpg (57021 bytes)

Sheet Music from J. W. Sidebotham From Carol #81, Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916)

Blessed_Night_When_81.gif (104360 bytes)

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