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An anthem for Christmas from Billings' Continental Harmony, 1794. The reduction should be reserved for rehearsal. I have attempted to preserve the differences in relative speed shewn in the original. Billings' own absolute tempi are well documented (generally a pulse of c. 60 per minute in this piece) but have been increased, more readily to accord with the modern audience's attention span.

Lyrics: St. Luke ch. 2 (adapted)

Hark! Hear you not a cheerful noise,
And make the heavens ring with joy.
See where like stars, bright angels fly,
A thousand heavenly echoes cry.
Behold, I bring you glad tidings of joy unto you and to all people.
For unto you this day is born a saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the baby meanly wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angels a multitude of the heavenly hosts: and they were praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest".
O how can men forbear to sing when earth with angels' notes do ring?
Then join all your voices one chorus to raise
Ascribing all honour, all glory and praise.
What greater love, what greater gift, can God on man bestow?
'Tis half the angels' heav'n above, and all our heav'n below.
Then join all your voices one chorus to raise
Ascribing all honour, all glory and praise.
Glory to God, who reigns above, that pitied us forlorn;
We join to sing our maker's love, for there's a Saviour born.
Hallelujah, Hosannah in the highest.
What greater love, what greater gift, can God on man bestow?
'Tis half the angels' heav'n above, and all our heav'n below.

William Billings
(1746 - 1800)

Hark! Hark! Hear you not a cheerful noise

(S.A.T.B. + reduction)

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