Hark The Herald Angels Sing

After not being able to find any information about yesterday’s Christmacious tune, there is almost too much to write about Hark The Herald Angels Sing! This popular carol was written in 1739 by Charles Wesley and later adapted by Wesley’s colleague George Whitefield. However the version we know today uses music by none other than Felix Mendelssohn who, in 1840, wrote a cantata in commemoration of Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. Music from this cantata was adapted by English composer William H. Cummings to fit Whitefield’s words. Earlier this month I played Once In Royal David’s City which is used as the opening hymn at the King’s College Chapel Cambridge Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Hark The Herald Angels Sing has been used for many years as the closing carol for this service and it remains one of the most well-loved English carols.