English words translated from the French by British Catholic bishop James Chadwick (1813-1882). Music: traditional French carol arranged by American Frederick Shippen Barnes(1887-1958). Most striking for its soaring chorus of "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest).
Melody (1853) by French operatic ("Faust") composer Charles Gounod(1818-1893)superimposed upon the Prelude #1 in C Major (1722) from the "Well Tempered Clavier" BWV 846 of J.S. Bach(1685-1750). The Latin text "Ave Maria" (Hail Mary) is the traditional Catholic prayer invoking the intercession of the Holy Mother.
Words: author unknown; music by James Ramsey Murray, 1883. Originally entitled (falsely) "Luther's Cradle Song" as a marketing gimmick on the 400th anniversary of Martin Luther's birth. It has been sung to over 40 different musical settings, the most popular being this one and the traditional Scottish song, "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton."
Words by Peter Wilhousky, music by Mikola Leontovych, 1921. Based on a Ukrainian folk chant celebrating the returning of the light and spring.
English carol dating back to the 16th century, traditionally performed in Coventry as part of a mystery play about Herod's "Massacre of the Innocents" (Gospel of Matthew). An angel appears to Joseph in a dream, warning him to flee into Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus.