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Lyrics and Information

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Words by Edmund H. Sears (1810-1876), 1849
Tune: CAROL by Richard Storrs Willis (1819-1900), 1850
Key signature: B flat major (2 flats)
Time signature: 6/8
Public Domain
1. 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 the earth good will to men,” From heav’n’s all gracious King. The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing.
2. Still thru the cloven skies they come With peaceful wings unfurled, And still their heav’nly music floats O’er all the weary world; Above its sad and lowly plains They bend on hov’ring wing, And ever o’er its Babel sounds The blessed angels sing.
3. And 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.
4. For lo, the days are hast’ning on, By prophet bards foretold, When with the evercircling years Shall come the time foretold, When the new heav’n and earth shall own The Prince of Peace their King, And the whole world send back the song Which now the angels sing.
Additional stanza:
Yet with the woes of sin and strife The world has suffered long; Beneath the angel strain have rolled Two thousand years of wrong; And man, at war with man, hears not The love— song which they bring; O hush the noise, ye men of strife And hear the angels sing.