“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is a well-known Christmas carol that is widely recognized and performed around the world. The song has a rich history and has been modified numerous times over the years, with several different versions now in existence. With its uplifting melody and meaningful lyrics, it has become an integral part of the holiday season and is an enduring symbol of the joy and peace that Christmas brings.
The Origin of the Song
The origins of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” can be traced back to the early 19th century. The original version of the song was written by Charles Wesley, a prominent English hymn writer and member of the Methodist movement. The original text was entitled “Hark! How All the Welkin Rings” and was written to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The song was then revised by a man named George Whitefield, who changed the text to reflect the gospel message of the carol. Whitefield’s version was first published in 1739 and was known as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
The First Recorded Version
The first recorded version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” was recorded in 1855 by William H. Cummings, an English organist and composer. Cummings made several changes to the lyrics and melody, and his version of the song quickly became popular among the English-speaking world. This version of the carol was then published in a collection of hymns entitled “Hymns and Carols of Christmas.”
The Modern Version
In the 20th century, the carol was further modified by several different composers. One of the most notable changes was made by composer and arranger Wesley Thomas, who added a descant to the melody in the mid-20th century. This version of the carol became widely popular in England and the United States and is now considered the standard version of the song.
The lyrics of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope and peace that his arrival brought to the world. The song speaks of the glory of the Lord, the majesty of his birth, and the joy that it brings to all people. The lyrics are a reminder of the importance of Christmas and the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ.
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 th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hath appeared the heavenly Word!
Nature in a manger lies;
But the Word, who all things made,
Was Himself not made, but stayed;
God incarnate by His Word
Was life and light to all mankind,
And the life-giving Word hath shined
Revealing the Father’s name.
“Deity, by His Word divine,
For us in flesh, hath made His dwelling;
But in these fleshly robes combined,
We see His Godhead and His glory.”
God in flesh appearing!
“Glory to the God of grace!
Peace on earth, good will to men!”
The Meaning of the Lyrics
The lyrics of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” are a powerful expression of the hope and peace that the birth of Jesus Christ brought to the world. The song speaks of the glory of the Lord, the majesty of his birth, and the joy that it brings to all people. The lyrics are a reminder of the importance of