Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 24

Ding Dong Merrily On High
performed by The Choir of King's College, Cambridge

Ding dong merrily on high,
In heav'n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing.

Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

E'en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And "Io, io, io!"
By priest and people sungen.

Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

Pray you, dutifully prime
Your matin chime, ye ringers;
May you beautifully rime
Your evetime song, ye singers.

Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

This tune first appeared as a secular dance tune known as "le branle de l'Official" in Orch├ęsographie, a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot (1519-1593). The lyrics for "Ding Dong Merrily On High" were written by George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934), a gentleman who was very interested in church bell ringing. The poem was first published in 1924. The macaronic style is characteristic of Woodward’s delight in archaic poetry. Charles Wood harmonised the tune when it was published with Woodward's text in The Cambridge Carol Book. More recently, Sir David Willcocks composed an arrangement for the second book of Carols for Choirs, which is the version heard as today's Advent Calendar selection.


Nan said...

Hey! I always wondered what the words to that song were... They are hard to hear.

Merry Christmas my friend!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous choices! Did you know you can play both at once? I am delighted to do this tonight--seems like the heavens are rejoicing!
Mother of the Boy Who Can't Sleep

SciFi Dad said...

Merry Christmas to you, your husband, and your girlies, my friend.

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