From heaven high I come to earth

Representative Text

1 From heaven high I come to earth;
I bring good tidings of great mirth;
this mirth is such a wondrous thing
that I must tell you all and sing.

2 A little child for you this morn
has from a chosen maid been born,
a little child so tender, sweet,
that you should skip upon your feet.

3 How glad we'll be that this is so!
With all the shepherds let us go
to see what God for us has done
in sending us his own dear Son.

4 Look, look, my heart, and let me peek.
Whom in the manger do you seek?
Who is that lovely little one?
The baby Jesus, God's own Son.

5 Be welcome, Lord; be now our guest.
By you poor sinners have been blessed.
In nakedness and cold you lie.
How can I thank you; how can I?

6 You wanted so to make me know
that you had let all great things go.
You had a palace in the sky;
you left it there for such as I.

7 And if the world were twice as wide,
with gold and precious jewels inside,
still such a cradle would not do
to hold a babe as great as you.

8 To God who sent his only Son
be glory, laud, and honor done.
Let all the choir of heav'n rejoice,
the new ring in with heart and voice.

Source: Moravian Book of Worship #307

Translator: Roland H. Bainton

(no biographical information available about Roland H. Bainton.) Go to person page >

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: From heaven high I come to earth
German Title: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her
Author: Martin Luther
Translator: Roland H. Bainton
Language: English



Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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Moravian Book of Worship #307


Rejoice in the Lord #207

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