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Angels We Have Heard on High

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Angels We Have Heard On High

traditional French carol (Les Anges dans nos Campagnes)
translated from French to English by James Chadwick (1813-18)

  1. Angels we have heard on high
    Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
    And the mountains in reply
    Echoing their joyous strains.
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
    Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

  2. Shepherds, why this jubilee?
    Why your joyous strains prolong?
    What the gladsome tidings be
    Which inspire your heavenly song?

  3. Come to Bethlehem and see
    Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
    Come, adore on bended knee,
    Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

  4. See Him in a manger laid,
    Whom the choirs of angels praise;
    Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
    While our hearts in love we raise.

An alternate translation by George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934):

  1. Shepherds in the field abiding,
    Tell us when the seraph bright
    Greeted you with wondrous tiding,
    What you saw and heard that night.

  2. We beheld &endash; it is no fable &endash;
    God incarnate, King of bliss,
    Swathed and cradled in a stable,
    And the angel strain was this:

  3. Choristers on high were singing
    Jesus and His virgin birth,
    Heavenly bells the while a-ringing
    "Peace, good will to men on earth."