Larry performs this intermediate level arrangement of Angels We Have Heard On High in this video performance lesson. Click here to download the full christmas song guitar lesson with tab and notation!
Angels We Have Heard on High is a Christmas carol in the public domain. The song commemorates the story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.
The words of the song are based on a traditional French carol known as Les Anges dans nos campagnes (literally, “Angels in our countryside”) composed by an unknown author in Languedoc, France. That song has received many adjustments or alignments including its most common English version that was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, northeast England. The carol quickly became popular in the West Country, where it was described as ‘Cornish’ by R.R. Chope, and featured in Pickard-Cambridge’s Collection of Dorset Carols.
There is also a Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) translation of the carol which is known as Ainglean chuala sinn gu h-ard (literally, “Angels We Have Heard on High”). This was translated into Gaelic by Iain MacMilan from James Chadwick’s English translation.