Sunday, 6 May 2012

Now glad of heart be everyone

It's still Eastertide, and so here's an under-appreciated Easter hymn. The words, by Arthur Henry Fox-Strangeways, are a loose translation of the German hymn 'Wir wollen alle fröhlich sein', which (according to the Oxford Book of Carols, the place where I first encountered it) "was 'an old song' already in Spangenberg's Christlichs Gesangbüchlein, 1568."

There are no recordings of this in English on youtube, but lots of the German original; this makes me think it's more popular in Germany than in the English-speaking world, which is a shame, because it's lovely. The tune in the Oxford Book of Carols is slightly altered (and lacking the 'Alleluias') but the English words would fit to this too:

Now glad of heart be everyone!
The fight is fought, the day is won,
The Christ is set upon his throne.

Who on the rood was crucified,
Who rose again, as at this tide,
In glory to his Father's side.

Who baffled death and harrowed hell
And led the souls that loved Him well
All in the light of lights to dwell.

To him we lift our heart and voice
And in his Paradise rejoice
With harp and pipe and happy noise.

Then rise, all Christian folk, with me
And carol forth the One in Three
Who was and is and is to be.

By faith, the shield of heart and mind,
Through love, which suffers and is kind,
In hope, that rides upon the wind.


William Weedon said...

An English recording of the piece by Edgar Aufdemberge, published by CPH. FWIW. Not a professional recording by any means!

Clerk of Oxford said...

Thanks for the link!

Barry Haworth said...

I came here searching for the words to this hymn. Many years ago now I sang a different setting of "Now Glad of Heart" which was written by American composer Natalie Sleeth. I recently found a recording of that version on Youtube, but the words sung were slightly different to the ones I remember (possibly because it is sung by a Mormon choir who don't want to allude to the Trinity). Anyway, this is the version I'm talking about.