Who wrote and composed the Christmas carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing?
In 1739 Charles Wesley wrote a Christmas hymn that began ‘Hark! how all the welkin rings, Glory to the King of Kings’, the first incarnation of what is now Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. But the melody was to come from an unexpected source a century later: it’s a chorus from Festgesang an die Künstler, a cantata written by Felix Mendelssohn to commemorate 400 years since Gutenburg’s invention of the printing press. It was British singer William Hayman Cummings who put the two together in 1855, creating the uplifting Christmas carol sung around the world today.
What are the lyrics to Hark! The Herald Angels Sing?
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born 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.” Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King!
Christ, by highest heaven adored: Christ, the everlasting Lord; Late in time behold him come, Offspring of the favoured one. Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail, th’incarnate Deity: Pleased, as man, with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel! Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King!
Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace! Hail! the Son of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, Risen with healing in his wings Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die: Born to raise the son of earth, Born to give them second birth. Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King !”