YulePlay

Click to hear artists who have sung Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Follow Us

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Christmas Song

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Year: 1739

Written By: Charles Wesley

The history of Hark the Herald Angels Sing may come as a surprise to some. The upbeat, lively version that we know today is not what the author or composer meant the song to be. We are thankful to the man who recorded the livelier version but Hark the Herald Angels Sing was meant to be a much more tame and subtle song.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing first appeared in 1739 in the collection hymns and sacred poems written by Charles Wesley. The song is not the version that we love so much today. Charles Wesley was a somber, somewhat depressed man and his music mirrored his style. He even chose somber music to accompany the lyrics he wrote.

Wesley's co-worker George Whitfield with the help of Felix Mendelssohn mostly created the version we hear today. Mendelssohn and Wesley wanted the lyrics and music to be secular. It wasn't until 1855 long after Mendelssohn and Wesley were dead that the music and lyrics were given the upbeat music that we know today. Dr. William Cummings an English musician adapted Felix Mendelssohn's secular music to fit the lyrics written by Charles Wesley although rumor had it that neither man would have approved.

So, was born Hark the Herald Angels Sing as we know it today. This Christmas carol gives praise, thanks to our newborn king baby Jesus, and has touched the hearts and souls of many since its popularity soared in modern days. There are no records of it hitting the billboard charts and not many superstars have recorded it. The most notable is Mariah Carrey. Even without hitting the top 10, the song is sung in churches, synagogues and at the home of many during the holiday season. It is also one of the top favorite for Christmas sing-alongs and carolers.

It is still hard to believe that the Hark the Herald Angels Sing that we know today is the same Hark the Herald Angels Sing that Charles Wesley wrote and Felix Mendelssohn composed so many years ago. Regardless of the reasons behind the popular Christmas song you can be sure it will be sang loudly from church choirs, front porches, the radio, and concerts on TV as the holiday season approaches us again. The song in any event is about the birth of our savior and whether it is upbeat or somber it will touch hearts once again as Christmas draws near.

 

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Lyrics

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

 

Comments