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What are the lyrics to ‘Ding Dong! Merrily on High’?

Did you know the tune to 'Ding Dong! Merrily on High' dates back all the way to the 16th century? Its lyrics, though, are somewhat younger...

Ding Dong! Merrily on High lyrics

Who composed and wrote the carol ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’?

Does hearing the carol ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ make you want to dance? It’s no wonder as it is believed to have originated as a dance tune in the 16th century, called ‘Branle de l’Official’. It first appeared in Orchésographie, a dance book written by the French cleric, composer and writer Jehan Tabourot (1519–1593).

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The lyrics were written by English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward, who published the carol  in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons.

What are the lyrics to ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’?

1. Ding-dong! Merrily on high
in heaven the bells are ringing.
Ding-dong! Verily the sky
is riven with angels singing:
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!

2. E’en so, here below, below,
let steeple bells be swungen;
and i-o, i-o, i-o,
by priest and people sungen!
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!

3. Pray you, dutifully prime
your matin chime, you ringers;
may you beautifully rhyme
your evetime song, you singers:
Gloria, hosanna in excelsis!

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Want to play ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ over the festive period? Buy the sheet music below