As on the night (Orlando Gibbons)

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Editor: Pierre Chépélov (submitted 2020-12-04).   & Paul Willenbrock. Score information: A4, 2 pages, 458 kB   Copyright: CC BY
Edition notes:
The music is that of Songs 47 and 34, which, put together, fit the entire text of Song 46.
Original key, original note values. Text according to the original source.
Only treble and bass are Gibbons', alto and tenor written by Pierre Chépélov.
See footnote to the edition for further clarification.
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2010-01-13).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 46 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.
The music (taken from Song 47) has been adapted to fit with the text of Song 46.
Transposed one 2nd higher, note values halved. Text is not the original version.
Only treble and bass are Gibbons', alto and tenor here are very similar to those written by Francis Jackson (OUP, 1973).

General Information

Title: As on the night
Composer: Orlando Gibbons
Lyricist: George Wither (1588-1667)

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredMotet Genre: SacredCarol Genre: SacredAnthem on Christmas Day

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1623 in The Hymnes and Songs of the Church (George Wither)
No. 46 (text); Nos. 47 and 34 (music)

Description: In the original edition, Song 46 has no specific tune indication. Hitherto it has been customary to sing the words of the verses of Song 46 with those of the refrain of Song 47 (sic!) to an altered version of Gibbons' music for Song 47, whereas in fact Wither's complete (unadulterated) text for Song 46 fits Gibbons' music for Songs 47 (for the verses) and 34 (for the choruses) like a glove.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. As on the Night before this happie Morne,
A blessed Angell unto Shepheards told,
Where (in a Stable) he was poorely borne,
Whom, nor the earth nor Heav’n of heav’ns can hold
    Through Bethlem rung
This newes at their returne;
    Yea, Angells sung,
That God with us was born:
And they made mirth, because we should not mourne.

Chorus.
Their Angells-Caroll sing wee then;
To God on high all glory bee,
For Peace on earth bestoweth hee,
And showeth Favour unto men.

2. This favour Christ vouchsafed for our sake,
To buy us Thrones, hee in a Manger lay.
Our weaknes tooke, that we his strength might take,
And was disrob’d, that hee might us aray,
    Our flesh hee wore,
Our Sinne to weare away.
    Our Curse hee bore,
That wee escape it may,
And wept for us, that wee might sing for aye.

Chorus.
With Angells therfore, sing agen;
To God on high all glory bee;
For Peace on Earth bestoweth hee:
And showeth Favour unto Men.