Monday 28 December 2015

Adeste Fideles (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.

Will the real John please stand up?  The 17th Century Christmas carol Adeste Fideles has been attributed to three composers:  John Francis Wade (1711-1786), John Reading (1645-1692) and King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656).  The earliest copies of the carol all bear the signature of Wade. who included the hymn in his own publication of Cantus Diversi in 1751.  The oldest known version, dating from 1759, is held by Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England.

English Catholic priest, Frederick Oakeley, translated the hymn into English in 1841.  Four verses were added to the original four.  The present harmonization is from the English Hymnal of 1906.  O Come all Ye Faithful is one of the Nine Lessons and Carols sung at King's College in Cambridge, England each Christmas.

Adeste Fideles was recorded by Bing Crosby at Kraft Music Hall in 1944 (

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