It came upon the midnight clear



It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on earth, good will to men,
from heaven's gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay
to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
with peaceful wings unfurled,
and still their heavenly music floats
o'er all the weary world;
above its sad and lowly plains
they bend on hovering wing,
and ever o'er its Babel-sounds
the blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the heavenly hymn have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and warring humankind hears not
the tidings which they bring;
O hush the noise and cease your strife
and hear the angels sing!

O ye, beneath life's crushing load
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow;
look now, for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophets seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold,
when the new heaven and earth shall own
the Prince of Peace their King,
and all the world send back the song
which now the angels sing.


Words: Edward Hamilton Sears (1810-1876), 1849

MIDI: Noel (English traditional, arranged by Arthur S. Sullivan, 1842-1900)

Meter: CMD

Hymnal, Year Number Tunes Other comments
Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861-1874      
The Anglican Hymn Book, 1868       
The Sarum Hymnal, 1869 038 All Saints  
The Church Hymnal, 1871 (Hall & Whiteley) 022 Thornton  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Goodrich & Gilbert) 022 Stuyvesant  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Tucker & Rousseau) 022 Westlake  
The Church Hymnal, 1874 (Hutchins) 022 Carol  
Church Hymns with Tunes, 1874 082 Noel  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1874 085 St. Silvester  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Standard, 1875-1924      
A Church of England Hymn Book, 1879 292    
The Universal Hymn Book, 1885 236 Flensburg  
The Hymnal Companion, 1890 090 Flensburg  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Darlington) 059 Westlake  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Parker) 059 St. Ursula  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Hutchins) 059 Carol, Prince of Peace  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Tucker & Rousseau) 059 Arundel, Westlake  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Helfenstein) 059 Carol, Prince of Peace  
The Church Hymnal, Revised and Enlarged, 1892 (Messiter) 059 Angelicum, St. Ursula  
The Yattendon Hymnal, 1900
     
Church Hymns, New Edition, 1903 090 Noel, St. Maria  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Edition, 1904      
The English Hymnal, 1906 026 Noel  
The Book of Common Praise, 1908 514 Carol, Noel  
The Hymnal 1916 079 Carol, St. Ursula  
Church Hymnal for the Christian Year, 1917 103 Midnight Glory, Noel, St. Silvester  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1919 085 Noel, St. Silvester  
Church Hymnal Revised, 1920
(Hutchins)
056 Carol  
The Oxford Hymn Book, 1925      
Songs of Praise, 1925 273 Noel  
Songs of Praise, Enlarged Edition, 1931 076 Noel  
The Book of Common Praise, 1938 319 Carol, Noel  
The Hymnal 1940 019 Carol, Noel  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, Revised, 1950 066 Noel  
The Mirfield Mission Hymn Book, 1955      
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 1960 063 Noel, St. Silvester  
Anglican Hymn Book, 1965 104 Noel  
The Hymn Book 1971 427 Carol, Noel  
The Australian Hymn Book / With One Voice, 1977      
The Hymnal 1982 089, 090 Carol, Noel  
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard, 1983 041 Noel  
The New English Hymnal, 1985 029 Noel  
Hymns for Today's Church, second edition, 1988 087 Noel Modernized text; verses 1, 3-5
Church Family Worship, 1988      
Hymns Old & New, New Anglican Edition, 1996 253 Noel  
Common Praise (The Anglican Church of Canada), 1998 140 Carol, Noel  
Together in Song: The Australian Hymn Book II, 1999      
Sing Glory, 1999 354 Noel  
Complete Mission Praise, 2000 345 Noel  
Common Praise: Hymns Ancient & Modern, 2000 056 Noel  
Hymns Old & New, Complete Anglican Edition, 2000 330 Noel  
Church Hymnal (Church of Ireland), 2000 164 Noel  

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.