Barclay Viewforth Church congregation on Blackford Hill

Carols on the Steps

All carols used under the terms of Church Copyright Licence. Barclay Viewforth Church CCL 4830

1 – Hark the Herald


Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King,
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!’
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With the angelic host proclaim,
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King’.


Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the Incarnate Deity,
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel


Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.


2 – Ding Dong Merrily On High


Ding dong merrily on high
In heav’n the bells are ringing
Ding dong verily the sky
Is riv’n with angels singing
Gloria hosanna in excelsis
Gloria hosanna in excelsis


E’en so here below below
Let steeple bells be swungen
And io io io
By priest and people sungen
Gloria hosanna in excelsis
Gloria hosanna in excelsis


Pray you dutifully prime
Your matin chime ye ringers
May you beautifully rhyme
Your eve time song ye singers
Gloria hosanna in excelsis
Gloria hosanna in excelsis

George Ratcliffe Woodward


3 – Once in royal David’s city

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle-shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for his bed.
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven
Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable,
And his cradle was a stall.
With the poor and mean and lowly
Lived on earth our Saviour

And through all his wondrous childhood
He would honour and obey,
Love, and watch the lowly maiden
In whose gentle arms he lay.
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as he.


For he is our childhood’s pattern:
Day by day like us he grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless;
Tears and smiles like us he knew;
And he feeleth for our sadness,
And he shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him,
Through his own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on
To the place where he is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see him, but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high,
When, like stars, his children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

Cecil Frances Alexander, 1717-95


4 – Still the Night


Still the night, holy the night!
Sleeps the world; hid from sight,
Mary and Joseph in stable bare
Watch o’er the child beloved and fair,
Sleeping in heavenly rest,
Sleeping in heavenly rest.

Still the night, holy the night!
Shepherds first saw the light,
Heard resounding clear and long,
Far and near the angel-song,
‘Christ the Redeemer is here!
Christ the Redeemer is here!’

Still the night, holy the night!
Son of God, O how bright
Love is smiling from thy face!
Strikes for us now
the hour of grace,
Saviour, since thou art born!
Saviour, since thou art born!

Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848

Tr. Stopford Brooke, 1832-1916


5 – Joy has dawned


Joy has dawned upon the world
Promised from creation:
God’s salvation now unfurled,
Hope for every nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory,
But a humble gift of love:
Jesus born of Mary.

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels,
As the mighty Prince of life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother’s breast,
Vulnerable and helpless.

Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story:
Gold, a King is born today;
Incense, God is with us;
Myrrh, His death will make a way,
And by His blood He’ll win us.

Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom
Reconciling God and man,
Christ our mighty champion!
What a Saviour, what a friend,
What a glorious mystery:
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of history.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty 

Copyright © 2004 Thankyou Music


6 – Away in a manger

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky
looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus!
look down from the sky,
And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
Close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.


7 – In the bleak mid winter


In the bleak midwinter
frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him
nor earth sustain,
heaven and earth shall flee away
when he comes to reign:
in the bleak midwinter
a stable-place sufficed
the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels
may have gathered there,
cherubim and seraphim
thronged the air;
but only his mother,
in her maiden bliss,
worshipped the Beloved,  with a kiss.

What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man,
I would do my part,
yet what I can I give him, give my heart.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-94)


8 – Like a candle flame


Like a candle flame,
Flickering small in our darkness.
Uncreated light
Shines through infant eyes.

God is with us, alleluia. (Men)
God is with us, alleluia. (Women)
Come to save us, alleluia. (Men)
Come to save us, (Women)
Alleluia! (All)

Stars and angels sing,
Yet the earth
sleeps in shadows;
Can this tiny spark
Set a world on fire?

Yet His light shall shine
From our lives, Spirit blazing,
As we touch the flame
Of His holy fire.
Graham Kendrick.© 1988 Make Way Music


9 – Glorious Light

GLORIOUS LIGHT, see the dawn of salvation;
Angels in white fill the skies with their wondrous song,
Awakening earth with news of His birth:
Join the hymn of the highest heavens.

Glory to God in the highest!
Peace to men on earth.
Come and adore Him with wonder;
Christ, Lord of heaven and earth.

Long has the world fought the song of the angels;
Heavenly music is drowned by a warring world.
Yet hope burns a light that shatters the night:
Turn your heart to the call of glory.

There is a day all creation has longed for,
When all of time has been spent and the Lord returns.
His song we’ll repeat as heaven completes
Promised peace that will fill the nations.

Keith & Kristyn Getty & Ian Hannah Copyright © 2004 Thankyou Music


10 – Child in the manger


Child in the manger,
Infant of Mary;
Outcast and stranger,
Lord of all!
Child who inherits
All our transgressions,
All our demerits
On him fall.

Once the most holy
Child of salvation
Gently and lowly
Lived below;
Now, as our glorious
Mighty Redeemer,
See him victorious
O’er each foe.

Prophets foretold him,
Infant of wonder;
Angels behold him
On his throne;
Worthy our Saviour
Of all their praises;
Happy for ever
Are his own.

Mary Macdonald, 1789-1872


11 – While humble shepherds

While humble shepherds
watched their flocks
In Bethlehem’s plains by night,
An angel sent from heaven appeared,
And filled the plains with light.

‘Fear not’ he said,
for sudden dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
‘Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.’

‘To you in David’s town, this day,
Is born, of David’s line,
The Saviour, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign:

‘The heavenly Babe
you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swaddling-bands,
And in a manger laid.’

Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, and thus
Addressed their joyful song:

‘All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good will is shown by heaven to men
And never more shall cease.’

Scottish Paraphrases, 1781
Based on Luke 2:8-14


12 – O little town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by:
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
For Christ is born of Mary;
And, gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in;
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Immanuel

Phillips Brooks, 1835-93

13 – Joy to the world


the Lord has come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven,
and heaven and nature sing!

Joy to the earth!
the Saviour reigns;
Your sweetest songs employ.
While fields and streams
and hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!

He rules the world
with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
The wonders of His love,
The wonders of His love,
The wonders,
the wonders of His love.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748


14 – O come all ye faithful

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above,
‘Glory to God
In the highest’:

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