Hark! how all the welkin rings

Music: Geoffrey Dale. Words: Charles Wesley (1707-88), Geoffrey Dale
SSATB piano
performance time approx 4m 30s
Range S1: d' – a'' / S2: c' – f'' / A: g – c'' / T: d – g' / B: F – d'
Price code: C
Complexity: ***

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A challenging and exciting rendition of Charles Wesley's famous carol (a fore-runner of Hark the herald angels sing), with bell like tonalities in both piano and chorus. The same plunging melody drives the whole piece, changing in tempo and tonality from place to place.

This setting for piano and chorus is adapted from an orchestral version first performed by the College Cantata Singers and the Wessex Youth Orchestra under Donald Riddell. Best suited for a large choir that can handle fairly large vocal ranges and a few bass divisi.


Hark! how all the welkin rings,[welkin: the sky, the firmament]
"Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
"Christ the Lord is born today!"

Christ, by highest Heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a Virgin's womb!

Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Emmanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun 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 sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman's conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Let us all with one accord
Praise with song our wondrous Lord.
Earth, with angel voices blend.
Peace, love, hope our message send.

vv. 1 – 8 by Charles Wesley, 1739; v. 9 by Geoffrey Dale

Purchase – 4020: Hark! how all the welkin rings

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