A Pray Tell reader writes to ask what I think of the change to the text of stanza 3 of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” in Gather 3 from GIA. It now has “Born to raise each child of earth,” where the previous edition of Gather (for example, in the choir edition which isn’t yet available in revised form for the new hymnal), ran “Born to raise us from the earth.” I told her I’d put the question to you.

Let’s talk about all Christmas carols, not just this one. What alterations have you noticed? What do you think is an improvement, and what not?

The purists, I suppose, can sing the only correct version of the above carol, the original “Hark! How All the Welkin Rings.” The rest of us can have a serious discussion about text alterations which, after all, have been going on since the beginning.

Meanwhile – God rest ye merry, peoplekind.


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