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A Carol to the King

Words by Sally DeFord
Music by Sally DeFord and Katherine Wright

About the Song

There are many songs with this title or something similar, so I figured I might as well add to the number. 🙂

As I was trying to put together a Christmas program for 2019, I found that many Christmas songs tell the entire story (or most of it) — from Mary traveling to Bethlehem to the Wise Men who visited some time later. You get shepherds and stars and angels and all the elements of the Nativity wrapped into one neat package.

I love those songs, but when you’re trying to weave them into a longer program, they sometimes leave you with nothing to else to say. So this one is just shepherds and angels. No road to Bethlehem; no apocryphal innkeepers; no guiding star; no gold, frankinsense or myrrh. Just angels and shepherds, and glorias and more glorias.

I love glorias. I can’t get enough of them, so I find Katherine’s echoes throughout this SATB setting just perfect. Her accompaniment is piano only. You will find that this is a song of contrasts–delicate sections followed by not-so-delicate sections followed by delicate ones again. Pay attention to the dynamics. 🙂

This score was not done in Personal Composer, so there is no .pc file download. Since there isn’t a solo version, there’s no vocal recording. 

Sheet Music Downloads


Personal Composer:

Transpose/resize .pc files using the Personal Composer Demo. (Help)



Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Piano track:


  (Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)


In the quiet on the hillside
Sheep and lambs a-sleeping lay
Shepherds watchful ‘neath the starlight
Kept them ere the coming day
Down the skies in sudden glory
Angels came a-singing then
For the holy Son of Mary
Born that day in Bethlehem

Gloria! Gloria!
Gloria! Hear the angels singing
Gloria! Gloria!
A carol to the King

Fast away the shepherds hastened
One and all a-seeking came
There to find the King of heaven
There to find the newborn Babe
See! the Son of God lies sleeping
Heaven’s host a-watching nigh
See the humble shepherds kneeling
‘Mid the angel lullaby

(Repeat Chorus)

Hark! the angel host rejoices
For the Child awaited long
Swell the sound till ev’ry voice is
Tuned to heaven’s sweetest song

(Repeat Chorus)

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Rich

    What a beautiful song! I SO hope that a good choir gets a recording of this on YouTube! We’re singing it for Christmas this year but I would love to hear it sung by a good choir. Thank you so much for gifting us these beautiful songs!

  2. Terri


    You are amazing! Your talent and sharing have many of us with lesser talents being bent on grateful knee.
    We know you are there when we need a great song! I’ve sung many of your songs over the years. Now I’m starting a new a cappella group. Do you have any a cappella music??

  3. Janice Mineer

    Thank you so very much for this amazing beautiful song! Our small group sang it in our ward Christmas program. It was just gorgeous. Thank you so much for all your wonderful work! (A Carol to the King)

  4. Marilyn Perry

    Years ago I sent you an email and asked you if you were independently wealthy or just crazy to give this beautiful music away. You told me it must be the latter😁. Since that long ago email you have brightened many Sacrament meetings and lightened many hearts. Thank you so much for your continued service to us all.

  5. Lisa Sowards

    I love this piece of music. We are doing this in our sacrament meeting on December 22nd. I asked my choir to sing it as if they are the angels. We were there, we proclaimed the glorias that shepherds heard. We saw this glorious event unfold. Thank you for writing such a joyful piece of music. It has filled my heart with the glory of that day. Bless you for your efforts.

  6. Aaron Wright

    Thank you for sharing this music. Love it!

  7. Judy Sharp

    This is such a sweet piece. Thank you for sharing your talent.


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