Angels We Have Heard on High

from by Brian Blume

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The French carol "Les anges dans nos campagnes," now known as "Angels We Have Heard on High," is completely anonymous. It has always been printed with no known lyricist or composer. The beautiful carol tells the story of Christ's birth, when the angel choir told the good news to nearby shepherds. The chorus, "Gloria in excelsis Deo," reflects the chorus of the angel choir on that first Christmas night.

Many years ago shepherds in the hills of southern France had a Christmas Eve custom of calling to one another, singing "Gloria in excelsis Deo," each from his own hillside. The traditional tune that the shepherds used may have been from a late Medieval Latin chorale. It became the magnificent chorus of "Angels We Have Heard on High."

This lively arrangement for marimba and vibraphone can be performed with or without percussion accompaniment. A pre-recorded accompaniment is an option as well as live percussion.

lyrics

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! 



Shepherds, why this jubilee?

Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be

Which inspire your heavenly song?



Come to Bethlehem and see

Christ Whose birth the angels sing;

Come, adore on bended knee,

Christ the Lord, the newborn King.



See Him in a manger laid,

Whom the choirs of angels praise;

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,

While our hearts in love we raise.

credits

from Let It Snow, released November 19, 2012
Words & music: trad. French carol

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about

Brian Blume Lakeland, Florida

Composer, percussionist, and educator, Brian currently serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion at Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL). As a composer, Brian has works published by Tapspace, drop6, and PercMaster. Brian earned MM and BM degrees in performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. ... more

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