The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Hark! Hark What News The Angels Bring!

For Christmas

Words: English Folk Carol, 17th or 18th Century

Music: Settings by Edgar Pettman and William Knapp (below)

Source: Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #19.

1. Hark! Hark what news the Angels bring,
Glad tidings of a new-born King,
Born of a maid a virgin pure,
Born free from sin, from guilt secure.

2. Hail! Mighty Prince, eternal King,
Let heaven and earth rejoice and sing,
Let old and young with one accord
Break forth in songs and praise the Lord.

3. Behold He comes and leaves the skies,
Awake! Ye slumbering mortals rise,
Awake to joy and hail the morn,
The Saviour of the world is born.

4. With endless love He comes to dwell,
Our heavenly King, Emmanuel,
With grateful lays, ye sons of earthy,
Come celebrate your Saviour's birth.

5. With holy songs let all around
Repeat and echo back the sound,
And all the heavenly hosts above
Shall join to sing redeeming love.

Sheet Music from Edgar Pettman, ed., Modern Christmas Carols (London: Weekes & Co., 1892), #19:

19-Hark_Hark_What_News_The_Angels_Bring.jpg (84745 bytes)

Note from Pettman:

No. XIX.óMay be sung as a duet for Trebles and Altos. The words are taken from an old book of carols in the British Museum.

Sheet Music: William Knapp, ed., Anthems for Christmas Day (London: Robert Brown, et al., 1744), p. 30.
First Verse Only

hark_hark_hark-p30.jpg (55456 bytes) hark_hark_hark-p31.jpg (60646 bytes)


As is so often the case, there are several variants of this carol, including


This is the earliest known appearance of this form of the carol, "In Bethlehem City."

Free sheet music is available for this piece for non-commercial use from Roding Music, both vocals and vocals with keyboard. The Christmas Carols page has links to this and other carols sung in the West Galley tradition.

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