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"Angels We Have Heard on High," Lyrics, Text Format

Introducing melismatic singing and extended phrases
which strengthen breath control.



  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: France – Old Carol, 1862
  • Key: F Major
  • Time: 4/4
  • Form: phrases: AaBb – song: AB, verse/refrain
  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ta ta ta ta | ta/ ti ta/a | syncopation, | ta ti/ ri ta ti ti | syncopation,
    | ta/a ti ti ti ti | ta/a ta/a | ta/a/a/a |
  • Pitches: intermediate: So Do Re Mi Fa So La
  • Intervals: beginners: Mi/So (m3), Do/Mi (M3), Re\So (P5), So/Do (P4), Re/So (P4)
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, half, dotted quarter, quarter, dotted eighth, sixteenth; long and short repeating melodic rhythmic patterns,melismatic (holding one vowel sound for many pitches), verse/refrain, syncopation, extended phrases
  • Key Words: world geography: France, Bethlehem, West Bank, carol, Christmas carol, Christmas hymn, Bible story: Birth of Jesus, angels, heard, mountains, in reply, echoing, joyous, strains, shepherds, jubilee, prolong, tidings, inspire, birth, adore, bended, knee, Christ, Lord, new-born, King, Gloria in excelsis Deo, contractions: , abbreviations: o’er (over) , heav’nly (heavenly)
  • Recorder: advanced: introducing B flat, strengthening breath control with extended slurs


“Angels We Have Heard on High” 
1. 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 you joyous strain prolong,
Say what may the tidings be
Which inspire your heav’nly song?
3. Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, our new-born King!
The words of the song are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos Campagnes (literally, The Angels in our Countryside). Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Angels We Have Heard on High," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Angels We Have Heard on High," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "Angels We Have Heard on High," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Angels We Have Heard on High," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "Angels We Have Heard on High," Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "" Letter Names Format