Good news from heaven the angels bring

Full Text

1 Good news from heav'n the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a Child is giv'n,
To crown us with the joy of heav'n.

2 This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself our Saviour be,
And from our sins will set us free.

3 All hail, Thou noble Guest, this morn,
Whose love did not the sinner scorn:
In my distress Thou com'st to me,
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

4 Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

5 Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

6 Praise God upon His heavenly throne,
Who gave to us His only Son;
For this His hosts, on joyful wing,
A blest New Year of mercy sing.


Source: The Hymnal and Order of Service #27

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Translator: Arthur T. Russell

Arthur Tozer Russell was born at Northampton, March 20, 1806. He entered S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1824, took the Hulsean Prize in 1825, and was afterwards elected to a scholarship. He was ordained Deacon in 1829, Priest in 1830, and the same year was appointed Vicar of Caxton. In 1852, he was preferred to the vicarage of Whaddon. In 1863, he removed to S. Thomas', Toxteth Park, near Liverpool, and in 1867, to Holy Trinity, Wellington, Salop. He is the editor and author of numerous publications, among them several volumes of hymns. --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, 1872.… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Good news from heaven the angels bring
German Title: Vom Himmel hoch da kommich her
Translator: Arthur T. Russell (1848)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1865)
Author: Martin Luther (1535)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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The Cyber Hymnal #1974
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