can anybody give me the lyrics for the song
How sweet was the song of the angels of light
See http://www.archive.org/stream/hymnsforservice00unkngoog#page/n109/mode/1up "Hymns for the Service of the King:", #107, online at the Internet archive.
Thanks, hutcheson! joshuadass, here's a plain-text transcription (edited from this page at Google):
How sweet was the song of the angels of light,
As bending o'er Bethlehem's plain,
They struck their bright harps, and the silence of night
Awoke at the heavenly strain ;
While mildly around shone glory divine,
And bathed in effulgence so bright
The mountain, the valley, the sea, and the plain,
Once robed in the mantle of night.
They sang of the break of Redemption's glad morn,
The holy had longed to behold ;
They sang of a Saviour in Bethlehem born,
So long by the prophets foretold ;
They sang of good-will from God unto men,
Of peace to a valley of tears;
They sang of salvation from death and from sin,
A balm for our sorrows and fears.
Then "Glory to God in the highest!" I'll sing,
For I am a sinner on earth ;
I'll welcome the tidings of mercy that bring
The news of Emmanuel's birth ;
I'll go to Himself, a sinner defiled,
And wash in the fountain of blood;
I'll pray for the grace that can strengthen a child,
And bring him at last to his God.
What tune do you propose for it? Although this hymnal says it is 11.8.D the meter is really 220.127.116.11.10.8.11.8, I think.
This is the text as given in Hymns for the Service of the King
Publisher: John F. Shaw
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Digitizing sponsor: Google
Book from the collections of: Harvard University
which is one of the older American hymnals NOT in the Hymnary's DNAH database. There is no authorship information that I've been able to find, nor any information on the tune originally associated with the text. One of the four instances noted in DNAH are older than this, the others more recent (though not by much), but none has a text entered, so for the moment I'd say the foregoing is the text authority.
Leland aka Haruo
That version sure looks like 18.104.22.168.10.8.11.8, but this one is all 11s & 8s:
True, but the archive.org one is, again, not as old as the one at Google that has 10 syllables in each stanza's fifth line, and old rules. ;-)