It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
About the Song
Original Christmas carol:
Words by Edmund H. Sears
Music by Richard S. Willis
Arrangement for four-hand piano accompaniment by Sally DeFord
This piano duet is meant to accompany the organ on the traditional carol, using the standard arrangement found here: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/music/library/hymns/it-came-upon-the-midnight-clear
The sheet music for the hymn can be translated into quite a few different languages using the menu at the top of the page. The piano begins where the voices begin (though there’s a rest on the pickup note), after the organist plays the introduction. Don’t be fooled by the look of the music. It’s in 6/8 and it clips along at a nice, fast pace, so it’s not quite as easy as it seems.
This accompaniment is meant to bulk up the sound for a congregation. I had to stick firmly to the written harmonies, so it was a challenge for my little weird-chord-loving soul. 😀 Stick to them I did, though, even if it did make the ending a bit predictable.
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.
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.
For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling 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.
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