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Legend has it that Martin Luther wrote this hymn for his five year old son Hans in 1539, although it was not published until four years later. It was sung at the annual Christmas Eve festival at the Luther home, where a man dressed as an angel would sing the opening verses, then the children would welcome their noble guest.

Vom Himmel Hoch, Da Komm Ich Her
(From Heaven Above to Earth I Come)
Words by Martin Luther, 1539. Translated into English by Catherine Winkworth.
Music by Valentin Schumann, 1539.

Vom Himmel hoch da komrn ich her,
bring euch gute neue Mär,
der guten Mär bring ich so viel,
davon ich sing’n und sagen will.

Euch ist ein Kindlein heut geborn,
von einer Jungfrau auserkorn,
ein Kindelein so zart und fein,
das soll eur Freud und Wonne sein.

Er ist der Herr Christ, unser Gott,
der will euch führn aus aller Not,
er will eur Heiland selber sein,
von allen Sünden machen rein.

Lob, Ehr sei Gott im Höchsten Thron,
der uns schenkt seinen eignen Sohn.
Des freuen sich der Engel Schar
und singen uns solch neues Jahr.

From Heav’n above to earth I come
to bear good news to ev’ry home;
glad tidings of great joy I bring,
whereof I now will say and sing.

To you this night is born a child
of Mary chosen virgin mild;
this little child of lowly birth,
shall be the joy of all the earth.

This is the Christ, our God and Lord
who in all need shall aid afford;
he will himself your savior be
from all your sins to set you free.

Glory to God in highest heaven,
who unto us his son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
a glad new year to all the earth.


Max Kade German-American Center
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
401 East Michigan Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
(317) 464-9004 Office
(317) 630-0035 Fax

Created: 4 December 2005, SJS
Updated: 13 December 2005, BAS
Comments to: IUPUI Max Kade German-American Center, mkgac@iupui.edu
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