Advent, Christmas and other Sacred Harp tunes of the season [1]

If angels sung a Savior's birth, we well may imitate their mirth.

Tune nameDensonCooper 
Anthem on the Beginning553-"In the beginning was the Word."
Anthem on the Savior355-"He ... was born of the Virgin Mary, and was cradled in a manger."
Bridgewater276276 More angelic praise, perhaps
Chester479-"Sun, moon, and stars convey Thy praise"
Christmas Anthem225225"Angelic armies tune their harps..."
Cleburne314- Perhaps sung by angel choirs.
Cookham81-"'Hark!' the herald angels sing..."
Coronation63-Perhaps sung by angel choirs.
Glory Shone Around-98"While shepherds watched their flocks by night..."
Golden Harp, The274274The Golden Harp Someday we'll join with the angel chorus
Green Street198-Definitely sung by angel choirs. [5]
Hallelujah146146Perhaps sung by angel choirs
Joyful News-244"Joy to the world! The Lord is come!"
Jubilee144144"Glory, honor and salvation: Christ, the Lord is come to reign"
Messiah131t131t"He comes, He comes!"
Milford273-"If angels sung a Savior's birth...we well may imitate their mirth," [2]
Nativity350-A Christmas title
New Agatite485-Perhaps sung by angel choirs.
New Hosanna412412"Hail the morn for unto us a Savior's born."
New Lebanon202202God's intelligent design of "a thousand starry beauties"
Newburgh182182The lights of heaven "shine to [their] maker's praise"
Northfield155155"How long must this bright hour delay?"
Old Hundred4949Perhaps sung by angel choirs
Oxford306306"Shepherds, rejoice! lift up your eyes..."
Peace and Joy532-A Christmas title with Easter words
Plenary162162"Auld Lang Syne" is often sung to this tune
Portuguese Hymn223223"Haste with songs of triumph, to Bethlehem haste... "
Present Joys318[3]Grateful for "present joys, for blessings past, and for the hope of heaven at last"
Raymond441[4]"Hark, the glad sound! the Savior comes..."
Rejoice-433"Shepherds, rejoice! lift up your eyes..."
Royal Band, The360360"The angels in glory repeat the glad story..."
Shepherds Rejoice152291"Shepherds, rejoice! lift up your eyes..."
Sherburne186186"While shepherds watched their flocks by night..."
Shining Star461461"While shepherds watched their flocks by night..."
Silver Street311311Come, sound his praise abroad"--another angelic song, perhaps
Sky, The-389"Join the full chorus of the sky."
Star in the East-175"Go worship the Babe in the manger"
Westford280280"I want a visit, Lord, from Thee"
Winter38-A Winter/Spring text
Wonder, The-292A meditation on "The love of God unspeakable--'tis a wonder"
Wondrous Love159159"When I was sinking down, Christ laid aside his crown for my soul."

Many contributors, witting or not, including Chris Brown, Paul Figura, Tammy Heinsohn, Berkley Moore, Peter Ross, Terre Schill, Samuel Sommers, Jenna Faith Strizak and Matthew Wojcik. Any and all errors are mine, of course. And Samuel Sommers notes:

Nearly all the songs in your Advent and Christmas list are Christmas songs. The three Advent songs I notice are 131, 144, and 441. Other Advent songs would include 49b, 117, 130, 149, 151, 232, 250, 291, 421, 438, 495, 502, 567, and 572. Other advent hymns might include 102, 121, and 299. But when you consider that traditional sermon topics for Sundays in Advent are the Four Last Things (death, judgment, heaven and hell) one must grope to find a Sacred Harp tune which isn't an Advent song.

--Will Fitzgerald, Christmas, 2005 (revised, Nov. 2006)


1: These have either explicitly Christmas/Advent/New Year's tunes or poetry, are about winter or stars, poetry about the life and work of Jesus, or songs of praise the angel choirs might have appropriately sung at the Messiah's birth.

2: Written an Easter hymn. Chris Brown and Matthew Wojcik noted that Milford's poetry was "An Hymn for Easter Day," which explains why "If Angels sung a Savior's birth/on that auspicious morn/We well may imitate their birth/Now he again is born."

3: Tune is similar to Cooper Book 532, but a different text.

4: Tune is similar to Cooper Book 198, but a different text.

5: Inclusion of Green Street is taken by some as proof that it was the Denson book used by the Angel choirs :)